Peru To Buy Anti-Riot Equipment For Social Conflicts

Peru’s government is to spend millions of dollars to buy non-lethal anti-riot equipment that will allow police to better control social conflicts without resulting in fatalities, according to Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza.

The government will spend some 21 million soles ($8.0 million) on the anti-riot equipment, state news agency Andina reported Pedraza as saying. The first group of equipment will arrive in Peru in February, the minister said.

Social conflicts in Peru are most frequently due to a lack of dialogue between public or private authorities and local communties, often resulting in violent clashes between police and protesters. According to the Ombudsman’s Office, a large number of the demonstrations are related to natural resource projects, particularly mining.  The office has also sharply criticized the government in previous years for not intervening and seeking solutions before the protests reach the violent stage. 

Peru’s police have been criticized for using live fire to control protesters, while the government has been criticized for failing to provide officers with appropriate equipment and training to prevent deaths while controlling demonstrations.

Since taking office in July 2011, more than 15 people have been killed during confrontations between police and demonstrators under President Ollanta Humala’s administration. More than 100 people were killed during the previous five years, during the term of former President Alan Garcia.

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One Comment

  1. The article doesn’t state which, specifically, weapons they are planning on buying. Does anyone know? If so, please post here. Thanks in advance.

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