Alva Castro: Farmers killed during riots in Peru not murdered by police

Luis Alva Castro (far left) presents case to congress

(LIP-ir) — In an attempt to push for state subsidies as part of a free-trade agreement with the U.S., to lower prices for fertilizers and to halt farm seizures by banks, farmers in Peru took to the streets and demanded the government’s attention and help.

Highways were closed across the country as protests turned into violent riots.

A state of emergency was declared in several of the Andean country’s regions and several farmers lost their lives as police and military slowly regained control.

Once the dust settled, Peru’s Minster of the Interior, Luis Alva Castro was called to congress to explain the deaths of several farmers during the riots.

Some claimed police had been abusive and blamed them for the death of the farmers.

In his presentation to congress, Alva Castro assured that there was evidence that two farmers in Ayacucho had not been killed by police officers but had been murdered by other citizens.

According to Castro, autopsy reports show that the farmers were not killed by police bullets but by homemade ammunition.

He added that police were not armed during the riots. Furthermore, a picture was shown in which several individuals were seen carrying guns.

He assured that all the information could be proven, stating that the Public Ministry had already requested official reports.

Congressman, Mauricio Mulder, assured that Shining Path terrorists had been behind the murder of the farmers and asked representatives from nationalist parties to identify who the killer had been.