Peruvian Prosecutor Investigates Vicente Romero for UNMSM Eviction

Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office orders investigation against Interior Minister Vicente Romero.

The Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office has ordered a preliminary investigation against Interior Minister Vicente Romero for his alleged omission of duties during the recent eviction of hundreds of protesters from the University campus of the National Mayor of San Marcos (UNMSM) of Lima.

On the morning of January 21, the Peruvian Police violently broke into the student campus after being tipped off by the university authorities. This prompted an arrest of almost 200 people, including many who had traveled from different regions of the country to participate in the anti-government demonstrations calling for the resignation of President Dina Boluarte.

Upon the release of the arrested students the next day, Romero attempted to excuse the clear violation of their rights by declaring there had been a “violent entry of 300 people” that had “removed the guards and taken their radios and chained the nine entrance doors”.

However, the university centre denounced the incident as an “abuse of authority” and stated that the Public Ministry was not present in the operation. President Boluarte herself agreed with this statement, publicly apologized to the students of San Marcos for the events and declared that “perhaps the way (for carrying out the eviction) was not adequate”.

As a result of such behaviour, the National Prosecutor (general) has opened a preliminary investigation against Minister Romero for the crime of omission of functional acts to the detriment of the state. Whether this will be followed through remains to be seen.

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