Peruvian families demand reparations for protester deaths amid reminders of a painful past
The 32-year-old taxi driver and father of a seven-year-old girl had decided to join Peru’s nationwide political protests at the last minute.
Protesters demand President Dina Boluarte’s resignation, the Congress’s closure, general elections as soon as possible and a new Constitution.
The ancient city of Ayacucho, known for its pre-Inca history and colonial churches, has seen dramatic eruptions of violence amid the demonstrations.
In this region alone, at least 10 people have died with more than 40 injured, according to the country’s Ombudsman office.
Demonstrators stand on an airport tarmac amid violent protests in Ayacucho, Peru December 15, 2022.
It was also the birthplace of one of the darkest and painful chapters in Peru’s recent history, home to the armed rebel group Shining Path during the violent 80’s and 90’s.
Both government forces and the rebel groups were accused of human rights violations as they warred.
Gavilán warns against overplaying the presence of Shining Path links, however.
“For us the Shining Path died a long time ago, no one supports the Shining Path, they took us to a horrible war that no one wants,” he also said.
He himself has first-hand experience of Peru’s entanglement with the Shining Path.
Relatives and friends attend the funeral service of Jhon Henry Mendoza Huarancca, who was killed during protests following the ouster of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, in Ayacucho, Peru, on December 17, 2022.
Her claim is supported by human rights experts studying the current violence.