Peru’s public prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday that it had launched an investigation into the actions of President Dina Boluarte, Prime Minister Alberto Otarola and the defense and interior ministers Jorge Chavez Cresta and Victor Rojas in relation to police violence during protests against the removal of then-President Pedro Castillo. In the protests, which have been going on for over a month, at least 40 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured: Boluarte and the others are accused of various crimes, including murder. The public prosecutor’s office has announced that it will also launch an investigation against former prime minister Pedro Angulo and former interior minister Cesar Cervantes, who held positions in Boluarte’s government and were involved in managing the protests.
Castillo had been removed from office and arrested for trying to dissolve the Peruvian parliament. For weeks, his supporters have been calling for his release, the removal of Boluarte and immediate elections (the next ones should be held in 2024).
The protests began in December and resumed in early January after a brief lull over the Christmas holidays. On Monday alone, at least 17 people were killed in clashes, the highest number of deaths in a single day so far: 12 died in Juliaca, in southern Peru, where protesters attempted to take control of the airport. The investigation will help to understand if the police acted with disproportionate and excessive violence.