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Peru clamps down as riots spread

Peru clamps down as riots spread

Peru clamps down as riots spread

Police and troops have poured into Peru's second city, Arequipa, to enforce a government-imposed state of emergency as violent demonstrations against privatisation spread.

Rioting which erupted on Thursday prompted President Alejandro Toledo to declare the emergency and authorise the military to use force to maintain order in the city.

One man has been killed and dozens injured in the unrest in Arequipa, 750 km (470 miles) south-east of Lima, which was sparked by the privatisation of two state electricity companies.

Hours after Mr Toledo said he would not go back on his privatisation plans, protesters rioted in Tacna, near the border with Chile, while demonstrators took to the streets again in Arequipa.

Hundreds of vandals wrecked phone booths and smashed windows of banks and official buildings in Tacna, briefly forcing the closure of the airport, local officials said. Police responded with tear gas and made 30 arrests, with two of their own officers injured.

The central government representative in Tacna, Wilson Mazuelos, called for the state of emergency to be extended to include his city.

In Arequipa, 10 people were reportedly injured on Monday morning as protesters gathered in clusters in the centre but soldiers could be seen patrolling the streets. Crackdown

President Toledo insisted in a televised address on Sunday that privatisation met the needs of people in Arequipa and urged citizens to show "serenity, calm and responsibility" after the clashes, estimated to have caused damage costing $100m.

A man struck by a tear-gas canister has died of his injuries while the Red Cross reports that 66 people, including 24 police officers, have been injured since Thursday.

Peruvian Interior Minister Fernando Rospigliosi said on Monday that the situation was "returning to normal".

He blamed the unrest on "irresponsible violent individuals".

According to the Reuters news agency, 700 soldiers armed with automatic rifles moved into the city early on Monday morning, backed by light armoured vehicles.

They were accompanied by an extra 1,000 police equipped with riots helmets and shields.

The troops moved to dismantle stone barricades erected by protesters who had crammed into the city's main square in their thousands over the weekend, for demonstrations which the police broke up with tear gas.

Protesters had also vandalised the airport, smashing landing lights and stealing equipment.

All flights were cancelled and many tourists were left stranded, but the airport was expected to reopen on Monday.

Funds pledge

The demonstrators have been protesting against the government's decision on Friday to sell off the state-owned utility companies Egasa and Egesur.

They accuse Mr Toledo of reneging on a pledge not to sell them, made during last year's election campaign.

Local residents fear they will see nothing of the $167.4m paid by the Belgian company Tractebel for the two companies.

But Mr Toledo counters that the sale has $85m for infrastructure projects, and says that Tractebel committed to making new investment of $90 million in the Arequipa region.

As a result, 60,000 people would receive electricity and 5,000 new jobs would be created in Arequipa, he said.

Privatisation - a key part of the government's economic policy - is an issue that has come to haunt the already unpopular president, whose current poll rating is about 20%.


Eyewitness reports via email from the past several days (you won't see these details on the BBC):


With comradely love TO ALL WHO READ THIS MAIL: The first hand Report from the scene of POPULAR UPRISING- Revolutionary INSURRECTION !!!!....After weeks of appeal by the 7 local governments of southern provinces of PERU ( Arequipa, Tacna, Cusco, Moquequa, Puno, Madre de Dios, Ilo ) against the authoritarian politics of the Central government of Toledo (New agent of World Bank & I.M.F ) to go along with the announced Privitization of Services of Gas & Electericity, the Southern Region YESTERDAY FRIDAY 13 OF JUNE decided to go along with an indefinite General Strike( closing down of Every work Places & Shut down of all Public Transportions....) !!...I arrived in Arequipa just on time before the real show down.....The battle ground is EVERY WHERE....but in and around the main square (Plaza Armas ) was the
main concentration of Revolutionary actions: Making barricades with the stones from the same city
pavements (old fashion style),fighting the police whom with constant infutile lacrimoghinas gas trying to push back the hundreds of militant demonstratinos by ALL ages & All walks of life.....Revolutionary slogans:Arequipa Revolution ; Insurection popular- general mandate; This is Arequipa :firm and cambative ; The people united will never defeated and reformist slogan of : Urgent Urgent another President....The placards were varied as well ...All aginst the Privitization and against the Continuation of New liberal politics of the Toledo Regime....the most radical ofcouse is :Capitalism kills LETS KILL CAPITALISM....And most importantly the attacks were directed against the (1) banks( Credit bank-the biggest in Peru & the Spanish ones namely Santander Central Hispano)...Breaking their windows (2) SUNAT ( I.R.S of peru ) (3) RENIEC( Public registry-where they issue national identity cards) (4) Public telefones(Spanish owned Telefonica del Peru)....from some of these places computer and furniture were takens & burned in & around the Barricades ....IT WAS FANTASTIC....LIKE BEING in Seattle,Quebec
.......As you all know the uprising against privitization of public services (water,electricity,gas...) are all over in South America including Bolivia. Argentina, Columbia, Ecuador..... AS I am writing these notes people have started to come out & are shouting : Vamos vamos carrajo pueblo no le rinde carrajo : HAY letīs go GOD DAMNED ;People Would Not Surround, Hell NO !!!!....Just a historical note : Arequipa is a province with a proud history of resistance against both Spanish Colonial Forces & And ever since of Peruīs independence(1823) against all the reactionary governments of all time....iīll finish this note so i could go and join the people


With a drastic decision of the central Government of PERU, the declartion of an state of Emergency for a month for AREQUIPA , the situation has gotten more radical... in the next round people have come out of their houses & their shops to beat on pots and pants .... as a show of solidarity for the whole movement and the resistence to the intransigence of the authoritarian, fascistic policies of the I.M.Fīs representative i.e TOLEDO & his lackies....Even though i truly believe (especially after the solidarity of the cities of Tacna & Cusco....) Toledo is doomed to fail and has to back off.... All the streets from at least 12 corners (the main central streets in the city centre) toward the main square are being block by SPECIAL POLICE SQUAD...so NO ONE CAN GET TO THE plaza de armas.... FOR NOW THATS ALL....


Dear comrades .....City of Arequipa practically is in flame,barricades have spreaded all over, more than 40 militants are arrested and more than 120 injured....the militant got to the airport and shut it down,one worker demonstrator got his leg broken and taken to hospital...central government via Minstry of the interior,an x leftist !! name ROSPILGILOSI is accusing the 7 local mayors,who are in 11 DAYS of hunger strike,as the cause of all the vandalisim....of course pure B.S....MILITANCY is increasing day by day,hour by hour....just
hoping that would keep up the momentum....at any rates in local radio people are calling out for more support and more militancy....things are heating up more and more....and their is definitly the chance that Government would back up from the FINALIZED privatization shame....bellow i will like to write more of the grafitis and the signs that arte beinfg put up....GRAFITIS: Toledo SERVENT OF I.M.F,Toledo the traitor,RAT ROSPIGLIOSI FACE OF A DOG, The people have come out,Toledo is fucked up,Toledo listen Arequipa does not sell herself ,NOW they can say we are bunch of minority...also as an slogan,Down with fascist, dictator, assasin Toledo...as 3 diferent grafities, Toledo Arequipa repudiates you,Till the final...HAST LA FINAL, Rennounce NOW Toledo,Long live Resistence,Down with Neo liberalism,FREE Arequipa, Arequipa does not surrounds and does not sell, NO to dictator,Privatization is Hunger and Miseary,For the United classist Sindicates,SUTEP ,which is the teachers Sindicates,LONG LIVE INSURGENCY MOVEMENT OF Arequipa,Death.... with a drawing of a skull, TO the abuse of the TELEFONICA,which belongs to the FUCKING spanish monopoly,CGTP Sindicates of civil construction of Arequipa always fighting for work and dignity,developmental democracy and social justice....QUE VIVA LA REVOLUCION DEL SUR...LONG LIVE THE SOUTHERN REVOLUTION....i should add that in CUSCO and Tacna also things are picking up quiet well...in solidarity with their sisters and brothers of Arequipa...thats is for now...i will keep updating you...long live the popular insurgency in south and all of PERU.


Last night in defience of the curfew, my friends & i joined the people in the neighbourhood, from 10pm till 10:45, in beating pots & pants(and the sign posts)...and in a matter of minutes created a chain effect,breaking the silence of the night..... IT WAS WONDERFUL !!!! It's such an awesome experience-feeling.....The solidarity is FANTASTIC...PEOPLE ARE determined to fight to the last.....It has radicalized the mayer to the point that before the arrival of the central government representative for the dialogue today,he put 3 conditions for the conversation:(1) The government,especially the ministry of the interior & the justice,to appologized for the insult to all the Arequipa (2) The government has to back off from the privitization process (3) the state of the siege HAS to be taken off !!...we will have to see
tonight.....i could find a bank to get some money and since their is NO buses i am stuck for 2 more days in here ...i am over all quite happy and learing a lot and love talking to people-specially to older ones-and learn first oral hand history of the 1950 revolution in Arequipa against military government of fascist ODRIA.... The second wounded-among the 120- is in a stage of emergency........tomorrow i will write more....

one more just received:

Hello to all my dear comrades at L.P.C and beyound ...Yesterday while leaving the internet cafe,after sending you my 4th report,the news of the death of the second martyr(hero of the Anti-privatization/Anti neo-liberalism),also university student - 36 years old,by the name of Fernando Talaver-was announced in the radio !!! Just few hours earlier the funeral procession of the first hero:Edgard Pinto Quintanilla,17 years old,was recieved by 700 people !!!...Also yesterday at 2:30pm The bus of the representatives of the central government(4 minsters & vice president plus 2 clergy man) who had come for the negotiation with the local mayors .... was stoned by the people whom were waiting to give them the proper " Bienvenido / welcome"
...hahahha !!!!...The "cacerolazo" (the beating on the pots & pans) at 1pm &7pm has been going on with more enthusiasm ....Last, but not least, just as i was getting in to the 'plaza de armas' around 2:45pm, seven tanks were rolling toward the square to once and for all push every one out of the centre of the last 5 days of actions: Revolt.....!!! Ofcourse we (around 250 people) tried unsucessfully to block the entrance of the modern tanks by throwing all the blocks of stone/bricks at our disposal.... The shower of the insults (' Hijo the putas,sal de aqui,regresan a Lima' / son of the bitches,get out of here,go back to Lima) mixing with the radical slogan: El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido/the people united will never be deafeted filled the square....but finally the pigs started to throw lots of Lacragimonas gas toward us (which as the result of it the above mentioned body was hit to his head and went dopwn & was evacuated by cruz roja/red cross).... the rest of us retreated and left the square...It was finally & totally conquested by the army-unfortunatelly ...
the mayors & the people in general.....people are honking the horns of their cars,shouting and going toward the centre city....i'll have to end these note to go and join the people......

Death to Capitalism! 20.Jun.2002 12:06

android9 android9@hotmail.com (subject:agitprop)

Props to Chuck0, or whoever posted this report. It is timely and poignant. InfoShop rocks!

Despite the correspondent's attempts to dismiss participation by those elements who have worked hard for generations, in the face of huge personal risk and awful costs, to build a genuine multi-faceted revolutionary movement in Peru that can educate, collectivize and mobilize such huge numbers of people, the report reveals that a broad and general revolt can succeed in nailing capitalism to the wall.

Although seeming to revel too much in a romanticized perspective on the martyrdom of a comrade, the report does show that a GENERAL STRIKE, and MASS revolutionary insurectional direct action can get the goods.

I would point out that this success was NOT precipitated by calls for the destruction of all civilization and technology, to return to some idealized reactionary matriarchal Pagan pre-stone-age, nor by slandering and sabotaging the entire Left, trade union, and popular democratic movements with absolutist defiance of all democratic process, solidarity and principled collective action.

GA and the primitivist chaoticists cannot claim credit for this phenomenon, any more than they can claim credit for Seattle etc. Whatever success has accrued is a direct result of the real anarchists, who crossed all (left) party lines to organize across the board (among progressives) for direct action, together.

The masses in the streets are not rioting and banging their pots and pans for chaos, as the be-all and end-all of life, but for democratic justice and accountability, for a rational infrastructure that will allow pursuit of the full human potential of all people.

As much as some chaos-freaks may exult over the death and destruction, mass action is not really about that, but about building a genuinely democratic social paradigm where traitors to humanity will be severely suppressed, in the public interest, for genuine national and global security, for peace, and yes, to save the planet.

This is not about some opportunistic fuck-all, "anything goes" self-gratification of bourgeoise ultra-individualism. Just thought I would point that out.

Anarchy in the streets means all the various organizations, tendencies and sectarian splinter groups uniting in response to the pressure of the masses, to go beyond their infighting and posturing, to engage the common enemy, capitalism, in united direct mass struggle. General Strike!

Nobody can deny or ignore the foibles and errors of the Left and it's various manifestations, including the anarchists, historically, empirically, sadly. But real anarchy is real communism, mutual aid and solidarity, democracy, now, not some day, maybe. It certainly is not about chaos!

When anarchists, and the rest of the left recognize this, we will really be getting somewhere, and can hope to move forward after the tear gas and shouting have subsided, to actually work together for the common good, instead of opportunistically weaseling for hegemony.

Death to Capitalism! All Power to the People!

Whatever... 20.Jun.2002 12:39

marshall forloveoflife76@hotmail.com

Whoo hoo Peru!

I hope Android9's opportunism to trash green anarchy here is as obviously rediculous to others as it looks to me.

let's be happy about what others have it in them to do.

btw, if peru is anything like argentina (and it sounds like it is) then there was a whole lot of chaos about the uprising. also, if peru is anything like many other places around the world, then there is a strong critique of industrialization, technology and the state's democracy, etc.

let's all get out in the streets, though, even annoying commies like android9!

take a good look out the window 21.Jun.2002 00:20


yeah, if Peru is like those other places nothing will change after all the "revolutionary" riots. The goons are STILL in power. I would like to back you anarchos but you have not a clue about how you are going to beat them and then make sure they dont come back.

wishful thinking and one-liner blow offs are just not going to do it. They are not going easy and they are armed to the teeth. Any ideas?

Death To Capitalism! 22.Jun.2002 10:26


I have a truly revolutionary idea. How about we arrest all the Republicans, revoke their corporate charters, and seize their assets?

I'm not talking about dragging them out into the street and shooting them, vigilante style. They should get a fair trial, first.

And all those rightwing whackos who are armed to teeth, talking all that apocalyptic racist Christian Jihad shit, round them all up, for the real terrorists that they are.

They'll scream bloody murder, about their "right" to the "freedom" to be racist, sexist, eco-raping pigs, but I'm not talking about being mean to them, or getting revenge. Just stopping them from conducting their genocidal atrocities. We'd be nicer to them than they ever were to us.

This is not about just knocking them on the head and throwing them in a cage, like they do to us. It's not about grinding them into the dirt, like dogs.

We'd offer them genuine rehablitation and re-education, and a chance to participate as full citizens in a new green, democratic society. Only the most recalcitrant ones would have to be locked up. Only the ones who resist militarily would have to be suppressed militarily.

We could reverse US foreign and domestic policy, to serve the People and save the planet, for justice and peace, for a change. We could retool our industries and infrastructure from top to bottom, and become the world's leader in technological research and development for producing and distributing goods and services that actually serve the legitimate democratically determined needs and desires of all humans and all species, instead of just serving profit, against the public interest.

And how, you might well ask, would we ever be able to do all of that? As if the pigs would just roll over and say, "OK, you win, go ahead and take it", without puting up a fight? As if we wouldn't wind up with a horrible civil war and the slaughter of millions of people, to preserve bourgeoise privilege and elite profits. As if they wouldn't kill off the whole planet before relinquishing their stranglehold on our lives (as if they won't do that anyway...).

These are good questions, worth serious consideration.

I propose there is only one way to prevent, or to at least minimize to a manageable level, the inevitable counter-revolutionary anti-democratic reaction to the popular democratic revolutionary impetus, which already exists and is growing daily, as 911 proves, in it's last-ditch attempt to consolidate fascism.

Call off the present popular boycott of the electoral process, and turn out enmasse, in an overwhelming super majority, to remove all the pigs from all the levers of political power, from the local mayor, city council, and county commissioners, to the state and federal levels.

Does this sound idealistic, impractical and whack, to you? I think it sounds a lot better than destroying all civilization and technology, killing off most, or even all of humanity, and reverting to pre-stone-age "chaos". Bogus "Green Anarchist" primitivist chaoticism is not the answer.

The present boycott of electoral process defacto hands over the power to the pigs, and is a main root of all of our problems. Refusal to contend in that arena, merely writing it off as corrupt and bogus (which everybody knows that it is, and is pissed off about), and not making that a main issue, to force those contradictions, by contending aggressively in that arena, and instead advocating continuance of the electoral boycott, only serves the interests of the pigs, and is counter-revolutionary treason, however well-meaning and sincere it may be.

- android9