Photojournalist Shot by Police as Repression Continues in Juliaca

A photojournalist has been hit by projectile while covering protests in Juliaca. Reporter Aldair Mejía of Spanish agency EFE was documenting the mobilization in Puno when he was hit in the leg by a bullet. He had denounced being attacked and threatened by police offers earlier in the day. The National Association of Peruvian Journalists (ANP) is demanding that those responsible be identified and punished.

Mejía said that two Juliaca police officers at the Inca Manco Capac International Airport had assaulted him around 10am despite that he was working and had his press credentials. “I tried to register myself, but they pushed me and I told them ‘I am press, I am press’. I showed them my credential so they would believe me,” he told La República. One of them threatened him with a firearm and told him not to continue taking photographs: “If you do that again, I’ll blow your head off and you’ll leave here dead”.

The Peruvian National Police (PNP) has been asked to identify the perpetrators.

Currently, on day seven of the national strike, Juliaca is one of the strongest points of the protests, with road blockades that include the closure of access to Bolivia.

Numerous civilians who were participating in anti-coup demonstrations on Friday were severely repressed, and several receiving gunshot wounds by security forces and hospitalized in Juliaca. At least 10 civilians were reported injured.

Meanwhile in Lima, demonstrators and human rights defenders reported mass arbitrary arrests including detained minors. According to Defensoría Perú, 224 people were stopped, detained and taken to the police police station in Lima on Friday where they were held for several hours.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communication reports 66 closed highway points in 8 regions of the country, affecting 14 national highways.

By Kawsachun News

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