Toronto (Canada), May 4. Amnesty International has asked Canada to suspend arms exports to Peru in the face of the Peruvian authorities’ “violent repression” of protests that began last December.
Amnesty International Peru’s executive director, Marina Navarro, is set to meet with officials from Canada’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday to request a response from Ottawa to the group’s request.
Amnesty International said the crackdown on protests, called in response to the arrest and removal of former President Pedro Castillo, resulted in at least 49 deaths and more than 1,000 injured.
A report by the organization concluded that Peru’s armed forces and police forces used “unlawfully and sometimes indiscriminately lethal force and less lethal means against demonstrators, especially against indigenous people and peasants”.
The same report indicated that 12 people were killed as a result of the use of firearms during the demonstrations.
On March 30, Amnesty International Canada sent a letter to Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie requesting that new permits for the export of military goods to Peru be suspended.
Between 2014 and 2021, Canada exported military equipment and technology worth CAD 81.4 million (about 60 million USD) to Peru, including 32 LAV II armored vehicles worth CAD 67 million (US$ 49.5 million).
“Unless it immediately suspends arms exports to Peru, Canada risks facilitating more deadly and racist attacks against protesters and their rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” Navarro said in a statement.
Amnesty International noted that, according to the Arms Trade Treaty, to which Canada is a party, Ottawa may not allow arms exports when they could be used to “commit a serious violation of international law or human rights.”
Navarro added: “The continued sale of arms to Peru raises concerns about Canada’s compliance with its national and international human rights obligations.” EFE