Interior Minister offers to appear before Parliament over police intervention at a university

Peruvian police in Arequipa – Lucas Aguayo Araos/dpa

Peru’s Minister of the Interior, Vicente Romero, has offered to appear before the full Congress of the Republic to explain the police intervention against demonstrators at the University of San Marcos, in the capital, Lima.

Although Romero has confirmed that for the moment he has not received a formal invitation from the parliament, he has acknowledged that he is «willing» to answer questions from the congressmen about an operation that resulted in more than 200 arrests last weekend.

«Formally I have not been notified, but I am willing to go to clarify this (…) It is my political responsibility and I have to attend. As many times as I am summoned, I have to go because it is a space where I have to make known all the details to the political groups», said Romero before the microphones of radio Exitosa.

Congressmen of Integrity and Development and of the Teachers’ Bloc have requested the minister’s appearance because they consider that in the police intervention there was an «excessive use of force» and that «the constitutional principles of proportionality» were not respected.

The police operation in the educational center to evict anti-government demonstrators has awakened harsh criticism from neighboring governments, such as Bolivia or Colombia, as well as from international organizations such as Amnesty International.

Around 400 police officers stormed the university with tanks and the support of special forces without complying with the legal procedures for arrests. Romero has explained on previous occasions that the police intervention was carried out within the framework of the state of emergency.