Region of Concern: Peru
Written By Mridul Mahendroo; Edited by Salomon Montaguth
Date: January 11, 2023
Map of Peru
Event: On January 11, protestors assaulted two police officers in Juliaca, Peru setting fire to their vehicle. One officer was hospitalized and the second was burned to death. According to reports, the culprits were a mob of more than 350 individuals. The government announced a three-day curfew in the Puno Region and a day of mourning. These events occurred days after 17 protestors were killed in Juliaca during clashes with the police.
Significance: The protestors likely attacked the police patrol in response to this week’s civilian casualties in Juliaca due to clashes with police. This event will likely stimulate violent sentiments within law enforcement forces and result in increased use of violence against protestors instead of defusing it. This will likely lead to additional civilian casualties and concerns for human rights violations. Protestors will likely target police forces, equipment, and buildings using improvised weapons, firearms, and arson. They will likely continue attacking security forces in large groups of several hundred individuals. Insufficient reinforcements will likely create panic among law enforcement authorities, making them more likely to resort to lethal force.
Recommendations: Additional police forces from neighboring cities should be brought into Juliaca for riot control. Local authorities should provide police officers with specific directives concerning patrols, commuting, and working at administrative buildings focused on their safety. They should be encouraged to report any suspicious activity in the vicinity of government buildings or police compounds. Special units should preemptively assess protest locations and analyze the environment, buildings, and potential weapons that protestors could use. At the onset of protests, law enforcement authorities should avoid displaying overly aggressive behavior and attempt to communicate with civilians before taking action. The use of lethal force by the police should be condemned, and rubber bullets as well as incapacitating grenades, can replace live ammunition.
Peru Regions Map by Joelf licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
 Policeman burned to death amid antigovernment unrest in Peru, AP, January 2023, https://apnews.com/article/lima-peru-pedro-castillo-accidents-caribbean-286beca28250750391d1b2c8963779b9