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Home About Us Equipo Sur South-North Encuentro Peru - 2010 Encuentro Country Updates
Peru - 2010 Encuentro Country Updates PDF Print E-mail

2010 Encuentro Country Updates

PERU

By GUILLERMO BURNEO
Mesa por la Paz, la Desmilitarización y Solidaridad con los Pueblos


What is the situation of militarization in your country, with emphasis on how it is related to the United States?

Ever since the election of Alan Garcia to the presidency, the opening for the entry and stay of US troops has no specified end.  His government inaugurated this situation in 2006 by authorizing the Combined Exercises of Joint Training and of Civic Humanitarian Action, called "New Horizons 2006." From there forward the requests from the Executive are of "urgent character" for the entry of North American troops, ships, and planes.

In 2007 the entry of 17 war planes ( F16, E-3A AWACS, C-130,C-17,KC-135,B-52,B-1) was authorized for the Halcón-Cóndor 2007 exercise.  In the words of Deputy Chief Phyllis Powers of the US Embassy, this exercise has as its objective "to fortify regional cooperation, as a way to increase the apprenticeship, planning, coordination and execution of similar missions, with the objective and the promise of the United States to collaborate in the defense of the region."

It is the year 2008, in which North American frigates and destroyers saturated Peruvian ports for refueling and crew rest, including the USS Crommelin FFG-37, the Crommelin FFG-37 , USS Mcinerney FFG-8, USS McClushy FFG-41, USS Boone FFG-28, USS De Wert FFG-45 and USS Boxer LHD-4, the USS Boone FFG-28 and USS DE Wert FFG-45. In September the USS Boone FFG-28 and the USS DE Wert FFG-45 reentered for the fourth time. As part of the operation UNITAS 2008, in June the destroyers USS Farragut DDG-99 y USS Forrest Sherman DDG-98 and the frigate USS Kauffman FFG-59 entered.

In 2009 the USS Rodney M. Davis FFG-60); USS Underworod FFG-36 (; USS Simpson FFG-56; USS Smuel B. Roberts FFG-58; USS Gary FFG-51; USS Ford FFG-54: USS Vandergrif FFG-48; USS Carr FFG-52; USSHawes FFG-53 and cruise missile Ticonderoga"; and USS Mcinerney FFG-8 all entered.

In the current year, as a coronation of this whole process of entries, the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, "ended up at the Peruvian coast with all its bellicose power...a bastion of 60 F-18 combat jets and 23 multiuse Sea-Hawk helicopters" (Revista  Cateras, April 2010). This magazine titled its article: "Uncle Sam in the Sea of Grau".

In order for these entries to be possible without great setbacks, the law covering requirements for authorization and consent for entry of foreign troops in the territory of the Republic was modified.  Under this modification, that which is considered for entry was expanded to include "civic assistance activities, planning of future military exercises, academic instruction or training with staff from the Peruvian Armed Forces or for visits and protocol coordination with military authorities or the Peruvian State."

At the same time it gave authority to the minister of defense, in the form of entry permits, that had been the prerogative of the congress of the republic.

Airstrip & Antinarcotics Base

The commanding General of the Army from the year 2008 reported that he had been coordinating with the United States for the construction of an airstrip in Pichari, Ayacucho, a zone that includes the Apurimac and Ene - VRAE valleys, valleys in which they plant coca leaves and in turn are an entryway into the jungle at the center of Peru.  We await the details and clarification of this statement.

The spokesperson for the Office for Affairs of the Western Hemisphere of the US State Department, Barbara Rocha, confirms that "as part of its current program, it will assist the ministry in carrying out renovation works at a Peruvian military installation...in order to help to cover the needs of our military personnel constructing a medical clinic and to improve the infrastructure of the (military) installation."

ILEA

Since 2002, the US Department of State has been negotiating with the government of Toledo over the implementation of International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs).  But it is the aprista government that formalized the establishment of the Regional Training Center for Law Enforcement (ILEA) in May of 2008, thereby regulating and formulating the activities that were being undertaken since 2006 in the facilities of Casino Police Club in La Molina, Lima, in the name of "improving the abilities and training of specialized Peruvian personnel and of the region in the fight against organized crime, narcotrafficking, and international terrorism".

How does militarization affect the human rights situation?

As expected, this "openness" to U.S. troops, has its counterpart in the militarization of domestic policy.  The defense of their rights to life and the natural environment, on the part of the poor of Ayacucho, Bagua, Ilo, and recently Carmen de la Frontera (Piura) have been stained with blood and death.  The repression of vandalism and delinquency also has a correlation with death.  In 2008 legislative decrees were issued that extended the period of pretrial detention, violating individual liberty and the right to be tried within a reasonable time (DL 983); that permitted the police and military personnel to use their weapons freely against demonstrators, causing deaths and wounds and without the responsibility to respond to them (DL 982); to detain people without a warrant and act without an attorney present and therefore without the attorney's evaluations of the legality of the proceedings (DL 989).

How have you all dealt with these issues? What has been your experience with resistance - good decisions, errors, and weaknesses?

The popular resistance is active, but I would say that it does not leave the south even though it's dispersed.  The lack of a proposal to unify and empower the people's resistance is evident.  That is, we lack a proposal to unify it in a single collective that guarantees sustainability and outreach towards objectives of change.

Organized civil society is active in raising awareness and reporting, but it suffers from narrow ties to the diverse popular groups, which makes its actions fragile and weak, turning them into short-term acts.

What actions can we take together to confront this situation, and thereby contribute to a culture of peace and sovereignty in our countries?

Already, the realization of the Encuentro of the People of the Americas, Resisting Militarization and Promoting a Culture of Peace, will make itself into a reference for the people of both hemispheres, more so since the United States is the promoter of militarization and makes difficult having peace between our peoples.

The movement for the closure of the School of the Americas has already traversed the North American borders.  It should and can become a reference for our people because of its rich experience in lobbying and social mobilization; it should be widely known in our countries.

It is true that the Encuentro is not the first experience of this magnitude, for it comes after the mobilizations against the aggression and invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, in which broad segments of the Americas involved ourselves.  SOAW, because of its sustainability and successes has made itself into a reference for us by its own merits.  But the best way to contribute to the peace and sovereignty of our people is to unite the actions of our diverse movements for this cause, a task to work towards during the Encuentro.

 

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