Solidarity shown to Peruvians taking action against coup

Solidarity action with Peru in Sydney. Photo: Rachel Evans

Fifty Peruvians and supporters took action outside the Consulate General of Peru on November 16. It was the third solidarity action against the coup against elected leader Martin Vizcarra. Peru’s democracy movement has been mobilising in large numbers from November 10.

On November 9, Peru’s parliament voted to impeach president Martín Vizcarra, appointing Manuel Merino of the Accion Popular (AP) party as head of state until the country’s general elections. Merino has since been forced to step down.

While Vizcarra was not a radical, the “legislative coup” by right-wing figures in AP is widely seen as an attack on democratic rights.

From November 10, hundreds of thousands of protesters have been in the streets of Lima, Arequipa, Trujillo and Cusco. Police killed two protesters, injured more than 100 and the whereabouts of many is still unknown.

It took a week of mass protests to force the resignation of Merino. The Congress has now elected Francisco Sagasti as the country’s new interim president.

Peruvian solidarity activist Jorge Zamora told Green Left that the democratic movement is demanding a constituent assembly “to formulate a new constitution, new elections and those responsible for the deaths and injuries and disappearances of students to be brought to justice.

“They took them alive, we want them alive,” the protesters chanted, demanding the Peruvian police return the disappeared protesters to safety.