Statement on the Situation in Peru from the Prophetic Voice Commission
Isaiah 42: “In faithfulness he will bring forth justice. He will not falter or be discouraged until he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.”
The Prophetic Voice Commission representing the sisters and associates of the Caribbean, Central and South America Geographical Region would like to shine a light on the suffering of the majority of the Peruvian people and our sisters and collaborators who lovingly serve and accompany the most vulnerable people to the north and south of the country.
The purpose of the Prophetic Voice Commission is to encourage a focus on social justice and other Mercy Critical Concerns, including by issuing statements on situations that often pose a painful and challenging situation for sisters, associates and other partners in the countries where we live and carry out our ministries. In response to the massacre of indigenous people and other activists in Peru, caused by a government that continues to trample human rights with impunity, we present this statement:
The dramatic situation Peru is experiencing today stems from a long history of harmful classism and racism. Under former President Pedro Castillo, people living in the interior of the country — which constitutes the majority of Peruvians — felt represented and visible. We would like to stress that we do not approve of any kind of corruption, no matter who is responsible. However, we recognize that from the very beginning, Castillo’s government was hindered by powerful sectors of the country and one-sided coverage in the media. Dina Boluarte, the vice president who succeeded Castillo, has disappointed the people who demand she be true to her word. She only agreed to call elections in 2024 due to the pressure from the people of Peru.
More than two months ago, people in various regions, especially in the south, took to the streets to demand presidential elections, the dissolution of the Congress that had no democratic legitimacy, and creation of a Constituent Assembly to reform the constitution.
It is outrageous and painful to see the violent and excessive repression of peaceful demonstrations which caused the death of our Peruvian brothers, including minors, as well as persecution of indigenous activists and university students. And the authorities have begun to militarize some regions.
Those responsible for the mistreatment, arbitrary arrests, and the death of more than 55 people should be brought to justice even if they are politicians, police officers or members of the armed forces.
We pray that those in government and Peruvian society who are blind and deaf, open their eyes and ears. We pray for peace and comfort for those families and communities who have suffered the loss of their loved ones. May the impoverished and indigenous people continue demanding their rights peacefully and with dignity, that the government with blood on its hands resign. We ask for sincere dialogue, respect for multiculturalism and a sound political system that seeks a fairer society that can achieve peace and democracy. Amen.