Saturday, 25 October 2008

Peru: Threats to Human Rights in VRAE

Yesterday La Republica reported on the violence and threats to local people carried out by members of the armed forces in the VRAE area of Peru. The article is here:

"Nos maltrataron y amenazaron de muerte"

And the post from Inca Kola News with some quotes translated is here:

Democracy and respect, Peruvian style

Today, the story is updated with new Peruvian Prime Minister, Yehude Simon, promising to support the efforts of human rights organisations to investigate in the region. He also says he has visited the remote areas in question and has noticed the sense of fear among the people there.

"I've seen fear in the population because they are in the middle again," said Simon in a radio interview.

This is true, but the "two devils"* theory mustn't be used, yet again, to justify violent overreactions and atrocities by an agent of the State which is, after all, not supposed to behave like a terrorist group itself! Let's hope that Simon keeps his word.

*Two devils (dos demonios) was the theory used primarily by supporters of the Argentine armed forces to justify the harsh treatment meted out by that organisation during the so-called "dirty war", ie, saying that both sides committed abuses equally. It was never a true picture of the Southern Cone. In Peru, the indigenous people sometimes spoke of being caught between "two fires" (entre dos fuegos), which was more accurate in their case.

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