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Rally held outside Hartford’s Peruvian Consulate aims to raise awareness of political violence

Maricarmen Cajahuaringa
Connecticut Public

Social justice activists gathered outside the Peruvian consulate in Hartford on Thursday to demand the resignation of Peruvian President Dina Boluarte, who came to power after former President Pedro Castillo was ousted in December.

Peru has experienced riotsin Lima and other provinces after Castillo’s failed coup attempt plunged the country into crisis.

The activists in Connecticut sided with the protesters in Peru, arguing that the dominant class has oppressed working class and indigenous people for centuries.

Peruvians and Latinos in Connecticut hope the Peruvian Congress announces new presidential elections soon to avoid people's suffering, said John Lugo, community organizing director for
Unidad Latina en Acción.

"The silence of the poor people, and the silence of the majority, because indigenous people are the majority, have been let out of any conversations,” Lugo said. “I think that's why it is very important to support them."

The Peruvian Consulate wasn’t aware of the protest in Hartford until it was notified of it the night before, according to Gonzalo Rivera, deputy general consul to Peru in Hartford.

"It's normal for the Latino community to be seen as one and act as one. We have bonds in common, and they support each other," Rivera said.

In a recent survey, the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP), 71% of Peruvians disapprove of Boluarte’s government, and 88% dislike Congress.

While some Peruvian protesters are demanding new elections as soon as possible, Boluarte stressed that Congress has worked to approve new presidential elections scheduled for April 2024.

Rivera said that he could not provide opinions about the situation in Peru. Still, he agrees that Peruvians living in Connecticut can protest as long as it's within the law.

"People have the right to express themselves and to a peaceful protest to raise their points of view. That's normal in a democracy, and we expect that," Rivera said.

Lugo said Latino activists in Connecticut will continue to support Peruvians in the state and in Peru to help them overcome years of discrimination and exclusion.

"The government's repression and violence towards the popular movement denouncing this new government are telling us the reality," Lugo said.

Edgar Stuardo Ralón, thefirst vice president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, recently visited Peru. In a report to the Organization of American States (OAS), he said investigations are needed into the hundreds of people injured and killed in the unrest.

"The Peruvian government must conduct impartial investigations and promptly determine what happened," Ralón said. "It must be carried out with protocols and ballistic tests. The investigation must be carried out with a focus on human rights and racial ethnicity."

Maricarmen Cajahuaringa is a journalist with extensive experience in Latino communities' politics, social issues, and culture. She founded Boceto Media, a digital Spanish-language newspaper based in Connecticut. Maricarmen holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Springfield College, and a Master's in Journalism and Media Production from Sacred Heart University. As a reporter for Connecticut Public, she is dedicated to delivering accurate and informative coverage of the Hispanic/Latino population in the region. Maricarmen is an experienced and passionate journalist who strives to bring a voice to the stories of her community.

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