Pedro Castillo Supporter Killed During Pro-Coup Violence

SacarĂ­as Meneses Taco, a supporter of Peru Libre and President-elect Pedro Castillo, has died days after being brutally beaten days ago by Keiko Fujimori supporters as he participated in a sit-in outside of the National Jury of Elections (JNE) in Lima.

SacarĂ­as was a rondero (campesino guardsman), in his late 50s, and a resident of Ayacucho, a region which voted overwhelmingly in favor of Castillo. He was reportedly killed by violent pro-coup Fujimori sympathizers who used sticks with sharp points and other objects to attack the peaceful demonstration of Peru Libre supporters last week.

The leader of Pedro Castillo’s party, Julian Palacin, has said individuals paid by Fujimori’s Fuerza Popular party are directly responsible for his death.

A wake was held on Tuesday evening, attended by fellow ronderos and others who had traveled to Lima together from the same region as SacarĂ­as Meneses to defend the popular will. Several dozen people crammed into the venue, calling for justice and an investigation by international human rights organizations into the killing and an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Witnesses say the victim received injuries to the head and denounced that the police stood by as Castillo supporters were attacked, and at other times, police defended the Fujimorista mob.

Arturo Ayala del RĂ­o of the Communist Party of Peru expressed the gravity of the crime on Twitter: 

“His name is Zacarias Meneses Taco and he did not “die”, he was assassinated by the fascists who today defend Fujimori and the extreme right of LĂłpez Aliaga. Let’s be clear, we are facing fanatic, violent and racist groups that are capable of murder. Will the media say something?”

Fujimori continues to rile up her far-right base while she refuses to accept defeat more than three weeks after the election.