Since the dismissal and the arrest of the President Pedro Castillo accused of corruption and attempted coup d’état in December, Peru is in complete turmoil. The demonstrations follow one another and spread in the country. Faced with the state of emergency and popular anger, Terre des Hommes Suisse, active in Lima and in the regions of Cusco and Madre de Dios, calls on the parties involved in this crisis to do everything possible to guarantee respect for and protection of children’s rights.
Nearly 50 deaths, thousands of wounded, strikes, road blocks preventing the supply and exchange of goods, shortages: the situation in Peru is worrying. The demonstrators demand the dismissal of the interim president, Dina Boluarte, whose legitimacy is not recognized, the dissolution of the parliament judged corrupt, general elections and the creation of a constituent assembly. The outcome of this crisis seems uncertain and a state of emergency has been declared in Peru. In the provinces where Terre des Hommes Suisse is active, particularly in Cusco and Madre de Dios, the situation is particularly volatile and conflictual. The socio-political tensions are all the stronger among the rural and indigenous populations, who are defending a President who is the embodiment of real change in their eyes. Of Amerindian origin, he was also a symbol of social justice and inclusion of indigenous populations. For Terre des Hommes Suisse and its partners in the country, respect for the rights of the child is a central concern.
“Since the beginning of the crisis several teenagers have died in the demonstrations, dozens have been arrested in an arbitrary way and in spite of the rule of law. In Cusco and Madre de Dios, we have set up an emergency protocol with our partners to accompany the detained teenagers in order to ensure that their rights are guaranteed during their provisional detention. Lizeth Vergaray, National Coordinator of Terre des Hommes Suisse in Peru .
Return of hunger
Beyond the current political crisis, the blocking of the roads has catastrophic consequences for the population and the children. This state of affairs is further aggravating the precarious situation in which a majority of them found themselves in our regions of action. Shortages of food and fuel, inflation: the Terre des Hommes Suisse teams on the spot are witnessing the return of hunger among the most vulnerable families. Hospitals and childcare centers are facing the risk of running out of resources (food, electricity), thus jeopardizing access to care.
To overcome the lack of access and to respond to the emergency, Terre des Hommes Suisse and its partners (in particular Agro Bosque) have, for example, negotiated the setting up of a humanitarian corridor allowing the delivery of food in spite of the blockades for particularly vulnerable families (without income because of the crisis, single mothers, families with sick children, etc.). Terre des Hommes Suisse in Peru has also, in collaboration with other organizations active in the defense of children’s rights, ensured the delivery of food to homes for children and adolescents.
“We must think of the children and families we support every day. Terre des Hommes Suisse calls on the parties to the crisis to do everything possible to ensure that the most vulnerable, especially children, are not taken hostage. We must ensure that the notions of protection and rights of the child are not just words, but are effective in our country. We are also particularly concerned about the socio-emotional impact of this crisis and its consequences in our regions of intervention.
Lizeth Vergaray, Coordinatrice nationale de Terre des Hommes Suisse au Pérou .
At the national level, Terre des Hommes Suisse is engaged in advocacy for dialogue, the promotion of children’s rights and their protection, and coordinates itself within different platforms with other NGOs in order to guarantee a response to the basic needs of the populations of the Cusco and Madre de Dios region