Peru offers $13,000 to families who lost loved ones in protests
Peru’s government is offering families who lost a relative during nationwide protests between December 8 and February 10 around $13,000 in financial support, according to a decree published by the official newspaper “El Peruano” on Tuesday.
Each family will be granted approximately $13,000 US dollars (50,000 nuevos soles), while the injured will receive half this amount, or $6,500 US dollars (25,000 nuevos soles), according to the decree.
The payments have been categorized as financial help for civilians and policemen and are not considered as reparations, the decree adds.
Amnesty International criticized the government for not taking responsibility for the deaths in a statement.
“Economic assistance to the people killed and injured is a duty by the State due to the families’ patrimonial affectation but does not exempt (the state) of the responsibility to look for truth, justice, and reparation for the victims for the abuse of their human rights,” it wrote on Twitter.
As CNN first reported, Peruvian families have demanded reparations for deaths and injuries around the protests since former President Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested in December. His removal from office sparked the demonstrations amid deep dissatisfaction over living conditions and inequality in the country.
There has been at least 60 protest-related deaths, according to Peru’s Ombudsman’s office, including one police officer. Most of those deaths happened outside Lima. As of February 22, seven people died in Apurimac, ten in Ayacucho and twenty in Puno for example, according to the same organization.
The government’s announcement comes after a preliminary report released by Amnesty International accused Peruvian authorities of acting with “a marked racist bias” in its crackdown on the protests last week.
The human rights group also accused Peruvian security forces of using firearms with lethal ammunition “as one of their primary methods of dispersing demonstrations, even when there was no apparent risk to the lives of others” – a violation of international human rights standards.
CNN reached out to the Ministry of Defense and Interior for comment on the Amnesty International report and the allegations of excessive use of force against protesters. The Ministry of Defense declined to comment and told CNN there is an ongoing investigation by Peru’s Prosecutor Office with which they are collaborating.
A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry also declined to comment, highlighting the ongoing investigation by the prosecutor’s office.