News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorlatin-america — Viewing Item

Peru crackdown strikers { May 28 2003 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Peru Troops, Strikers Clash in State of Emergency
Wed May 28, 2003 10:34 PM ET

By Missy Ryan
LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - Hospital officials said several protesters were wounded on Wednesday as soldiers fired in the air during violent clashes across Peru where strikers took to the streets in defiance of a government state of emergency and vowed to continue their crippling strikes.

At least 21 people were hurt, some from gunshot wounds, in Barranca, north of Lima, according to a local hospital official, as troops fired to disperse rock-throwing farmers a day after unpopular President Alejandro Toledo imposed a 30-day emergency banning strikers from streets.

"This has been a difficult day for the nation ... but it was a good day for the fatherland because 27 million Peruvians made the decision to establish order," said Prime Minister Luis Solari, flanked by other ministers who said calm had been restored throughout Peru.

Defense Minister Aurelio Loret de Mola denied that soldiers had fired directly at protesters, and Solari said most of the violence was due to troublemakers looking to incite unrest.

Earlier in the day, security forces fired tear gas and arrested teachers in the northern city of Chiclayo, while shops in the jungle city of Huanuco were shuttered to avoid looting. In Lima, police in riot gear turned water hoses on protesting court workers at the national justice palace.

Interior Minister Alberto Sanabria said 95 people were arrested across Peru in the latest in a series of widespread protests by Peruvians demanding better pay and conditions.

Health workers and farmers have, at least officially, temporarily called off strikes that disrupted highway transport with blockades of rocks and trees. But teachers, striking for more than two weeks demanding a rise of 210 soles ($60) to an average monthly wage of 700 soles ($200), were undeterred.

"The 100-sol ($29) raise they have offered us is insufficient ... so we teachers have the right to keep expressing our unhappiness in the streets," said Nilver Lopez, head of the SUTEP union that groups some 280,000 teachers.

Toledo's 2-year-old presidency has been marked by protests and a declining approval rating that now stands at 14 percent.

Many Peruvians complain Toledo -- a U.S.-trained former World Bank adviser -- has failed to fulfill ambitious promises of jobs, prosperity and a return to true democracy after the corrupt, hard-line rule of ex-President Alberto Fujimori.

Protests intensified in recent weeks with farmers, teachers, health and court workers pledging they would not give up on demands for wage rises and greater job security.


On Wednesday, many schools appeared to remain empty despite a promise to reopen. "This isn't democracy. They send out soldiers as soon as they are unable to manage," said teacher Carmen Fajardo, 58, banging cymbals at a Lima school.

Toledo last declared a state of emergency in June 2002. That measure was limited to the city of Arequipa amid protests, which killed three people, against the sale of two power firms.

Such decrees are not uncommon in Latin America, where governments sometimes resort to military responses to protests against unpopular policies.

Miguel Angel Bermudez, an analyst at private consultancy Maximixe in Lima, said the measure was a sign "of urgency, of the government's despair."

Peruvian stocks fell amid the political uncertainty but analysts said the emergency was unlikely to sully Peru's reputation as a Latin American investment safe haven. Peru's economy grew by 5.2 percent in 2002, fastest in the region.

(Additional reporting by Eduardo Orozco and Monica Vargas)


Copyright Reuters 2002. All rights reserved. Any copying, re-publication or re-distribution of Reuters content or of any content used on this site, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without prior written consent of Reuters.
Quotes and other data are provided for your personal information only, and are not intended for trading purposes. Reuters, the members of its Group and its data providers shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the quotes or other data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Reuters 2002. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Bolivia leader forms socialist indigenous cabinet
Bolivia shocks world with gas nationalization { April 2006 }
Brazil poor occupy farms hoping for help
Bush tours latin america for social justice { March 8 2007 }
Chile elects first woman pro free trade socialist
Chile embraces free market socialism { March 20 2005 }
Chile replaces US ambassador { May 14 2003 }
Ecuador congress ousts president amid protests { April 20 2005 }
Half million brazilians killed over land disputes { December 2008 }
Hypocrisy of outcry over bolivia renationalisation { May 16 2006 }
Labor organized murdered in el salvador { December 2 2004 }
Latin america democracy strained by poverty
New bolivian leader criticized neoliberal reforms { January 23 2006 }
Peru crackdown strikers { May 28 2003 }
Priest defends landless peasants in brazils amazon
Sandinista leader hoping for return in nicaragua
Sandinista leader leads nicaragua polls { October 24 2006 }
South america eyes common currency { April 2008 }
US warns nicaraguans against coup { September 9 2005 }

Files Listed: 19


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple