Peru sends protest to Colombia over Petro’s remarks on police action in demonstrations

Protests in Peru – Lucas Aguayo Araos/dpa

The Peruvian Foreign Ministry has sent a diplomatic note of protest to Colombia on Monday for the statements made by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, criticizing the operation of Peruvian security forces at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM), in Lima.

According to the letter sent by the Peruvian diplomacy, Petro would have carried out a «new act of interference» in internal political issues, a conduct that has been described as «not consistent with the norms of International Law».

«His acts of interference are inconsistent with the conduct that every head of state must observe in compliance with international law,» said the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, criticizing that the Colombian president has issued an opinion on what happened on the campus of the University of San Marcos.

The Colombian president demanded the Organization of American States (OAS) to examine «the case of Peru» after the decision of the Andean government to initiate a police operation in the educational center to evict demonstrators who had locked themselves in its facilities in an action that resulted in at least 205 detainees and criticism from international organizations.

«Raid universities. Shouting ‘Death to intelligence! The Permanent Council of the OAS should be summoned to examine the case of Peru,» Petro wielded in a message on the social network Twitter.

Around 400 police officers broke into the university located in the country’s capital with tanks and support of special forces, without complying with the legal procedures for arrests.

Peru’s Interior Minister, Vicente Romero, has previously explained that the operation took place within the framework of the state of emergency, which is why the presence of prosecutors was not necessary for the intervention, as Human Rights organizations have been denouncing.

Organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned the «disproportionate use of force» and respect for Human Rights. «The state of emergency does not suspend due process. Detainees must have access to their defense at all times and be provided with interpreters if needed. The prohibition of incommunicado detention and cruel and inhuman treatment is maintained,» the international organization recalled.