We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle Commission 3 on Political Prisoners and Human Rights vehemently condemns the traitorous “Olimpo operations” perpetrated by the political police of Peru (DIRCOTE). Treacherously undertaken during a dawn raid of 94 houses on 2 December 2020, rousing people up from their beds, broke the doors and windows of their domiciles, and arresting 74 people and detaining them on trumped-up charges after exercising their rights to freedom of expression, opinion, assembly, and organization by calling for a new constitution through a constituent assembly.
The brutality of the operations by eyewitness accounts was deplorable: mothers beaten up for demanding a court order for the operation, a nursing mother detained with her baby and threatening to take her child to the National Comprehensive Programme for Family Welfare (INABIF), a government program responsible for the care of anyone in a “position of risk or has problems that undermine human development.” These were done along with putting at risk the lives of the elderly and physically and psychologically abusing all detainees, and their families.
Thirty six (36) hours after the operation, and while lawyers managed to enter the detention facilities, the total number of arrested is not yet known. They have arrested mothers, nursing mothers, lawyers, young students, workers, teachers, laborers, artists, older adults with pre-existing diseases and their physical and emotional health situation have not yet been verified by their family members.
Families of those arrested and detained assert their family members have not committed any crime. They only have exercised their fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, opinion, assembly, and organization that the constitution itself guarantees all Peruvians. They have also consistently proposed to fight for a new constitution with the people and for the people through a constituent assembly. But they lament that the Peruvian government considers them as “terrorists” for exercising their fundamental rights. By mere claims of “imminent danger” posed by those they have arbitrarily arrested and illegally detained, the Peruvian government has violated their fundamental rights for due process, the right to defense, and the presumption of innocence.
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle Commission 3 reiterates the calls of the families of those arbitrarily detained and illegally arrested in the barbaric Olimpo operation:
IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM OF THE DETAINEES OF THE OLIMPO OPERATION!
THE DETAINEES ARE NOT TERRORISTS!
FIGHTING FOR A NEW CONSTITUTION IS NOT A CRIME!
THINKING DIFFERENTLY IS NOT A CRIME, NEITHER ARE ORGANIZING AND HOLDING MEETINGS!