The Interior Minister of Peru, Rubén Vargas, said this Sunday that an investigation will be carried out after the death of two young people due to police repression in the protests that brought down the short-lived previous government.
“We have given instructions to carry out investigations against the generals who have been denounced and who have been responsible for the operations in the events that we are regretting,” Vargas said at a press conference, without specifying the number of officers who will be investigated.
“It is the investigations that have to determine the individual responsibilities of the criminal acts,” said the minister after meeting with the relatives of the two young people who died from pellet impacts in the police repression of eight days ago in the streets of Lima.
The Prosecutor’s Office this week began a preliminary criminal investigation against former President Manuel Merino and two of his ministers, which may reach other officials and police, for the violent repression of last week.
The Prosecutor’s Office tries to determine the “line of command” in the government and the police in those hectic days to define who to bring to justice.
Vargas pointed out that these investigations “will result in the corresponding criminal responsibilities, which they will fully abide by.”
After assuming office on Tuesday, Peruvian President Francisco Sagasti introduced changes in the security dome, appointing Carlos León Romero as Vice Minister of Internal Order, replacing Esteban Saavedra Mendoza, who had headed that portfolio since 2018.
The deaths and injuries occurred in a massive march, violently repressed with tear gas canisters and pellets by the police.
The political crisis was unleashed on November 9 by Congress, which removed Martín Vizcarra, a popular center-right president, and replaced him with Merino, also a center-right.
The violent crackdown on protesters raised outrage against Merino and on Saturday almost all of his ministers resigned and his allies in Congress left him.
On Sunday, the unpopular president stepped aside after a call from Congress, which on Monday elected centrist MP Sagasti as the new president, who is due to govern until July 28, 2021.
Sagasti had voted against Vizcarra’s removal and took office Tuesday, restoring calm to the country and markets.
cm / rsr