Protests in Peru: How Police Used Lethal Force Against Demonstrators

Protests in Peru: How Police Used Lethal Force Against Demonstrators

At 7:51 p.m., CCTV footage shows a group of people dragging two young men who were fatally shot out of the police’s line of sight. In cellphone footage of the scene, the victims lie on the pavement, bleeding profusely. The Times has identified these two victims as 20-year-old Paul Franklin Mamani Apaza and 15-year-old Brayan Apaza Jumpiri.

According to Mr. Mamani Apaza’s autopsy report, he was killed by a 7.62-millimeter bullet to the chest — matching the ammunition of the police’s Kalashnikov assault rifles.

Brayan had a bullet lodged in his head, according to testimonies as well as medical and autopsy records. He died after three days in a coma.

All but one of the 18 civilians who were fatally injured in Juliaca on Jan. 9 died from shots to the upper body — four to the head. Forensic experts found 7.62-millimeter bullets in four of the bodies, including the younger Mr. Mamani. Another eight victims also had wounds consistent with police and military assault rifles. At least three victims, including Mr. López, died from lethal ammunition matching the shotguns carried by security forces at the airport.

According to the national police, one officer died and one was injured in the early morning hours of Jan. 10 in Juliaca, when they were attacked by an angry mob and their patrol car set on fire. Another six officers injured during the protests on Jan. 9 were flown to a hospital in Lima.

In a televised speech two weeks later, Ms. Boluarte said, “It’s not the police who are shooting,” and that the majority of deaths in Juliaca resulted from homemade or illegal weapons. “Lethal weapons that the police don’t use,” she said. The government has not provided any evidence to support the claim.

On Jan. 18, two more protesters, Sonia Aguilar Quispe and Salomón Valenzuela Chua, were shot and killed, as hundreds rallied in Macusani in southern Peru. The shots that killed them appear to have been fired by the national police, according to visual evidence, audio analysis and witness accounts collected by The Times.

In the afternoon, after a peaceful march through Macusani, footage shows scores of people scattered along a dirt road that runs above the city’s national police station. Some protesters are hurling rocks, improvised explosives and insults at the officers who are in and just outside the building about 100 yards away. The police fire tear gas, and gunfire is heard sporadically.

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