Over the past few months, the Democracy Center has been part of a campaign against the criminalization of social protest in the south of Peru, along with Peruvian organization Human Rights and Environment, Puno (DHUMA) and other Peruvian and international organizations.
Recently, eighteen Aymara faced the final stages of criminal trials brought against them for participating in 2011 protests againt mining in the region, protests known in Peru as the Aymarazo.
An international campaign, including an urgent appeal from the organization FrontLine Defenders, called for the aquittal of all of the accused. Seventeen were acquitted, but on June 28, 2017, Walter Aduviri was sentenced to 7 years in prison and a huge fine.
The following article explains the sentencing and what it reveals about the politics of extractivism and corporate power in Peru:
Both the prosecutor and Aduviri’s lawyers are appealing his sentence. The prosecutor is also appealing the acquittal of four other compañeros.
You can also listen to this podcast about the history of the Aymarazo and the resulting criminalization:
Criminal Charges Pending Against Social Leaders and A Billion-Dollar Court Case at ICSID
This video from DHUMA tells the story of the Aymarazo and its consequences: