Commentary

Repression of a peaceful march. What is up with the authorities in Peru?

Repression of a peaceful march in Lima
Repression of a peaceful march in Lima

Two weeks ago, on May 6, the World March for the Legalization of Marijuana was carried out in different parts of the world; Peru was no exception. These kinds of protests are realized by groups of civil society that are properly organized. They resort to mass gatherings to draw the attention of the authorities and thus be heard and have their demands attended to.

Lima, the capital city, was where the largest number of people in all of Peru met, although beyond the march it is known that more and more pro-legalization groups are appearing throughout the country.

This time the march was held at a time when a change of law was under consideration that would allow the medicinal use of marijuana in Peru.

In fact, Cusco is a city where the consumption of this psychotropic is one of the highest at the national level.

Prior to this march, there have already been peaceful protests in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana. This is the only way in which people can express their disagreement with the current laws that severely punish the cultivation and use of cannabis.

The main argument of organizations such as #MamáCultiva, #PurpleJoy #LegalizaPerú, is the decriminalization for medicinal purposes. The first organization brings together mothers whose children have diseases that are not well treated by medical science and where the use of cannabis has given better results with lower cost. Pharmaceuticals in Peru are not exactly what can be called economic. In fact, there is a large number of the population that resists their use and relies instead on traditional medicine with its many herbs and concoctions.

The main argument of the march was the legalization for medicinal purposes. Many mothers with their children, some even sick, attended the march in a peaceful manner. However, the authorities acted in an intransigent manner. They attacked many of the attendees, and tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas and pellets, a fact that was condemned by the general population.

This violence caused indignation in many citizens who expressed their solidarity when they saw the situation of vulnerability to which the participants of the march were exposed. The fact has quickly become widespread in the media.

The violent reaction of our police forces was frowned upon by the international press. In other countries the marches were carried out in a peaceful way, although it is true Peruvian society is often handled by prejudice, still these concentrations show that we want to generate a change, driven by the same population.

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