Like in many other cities around the world, Lima saw the mobilisation of thousands of women to demand justice on International Women’s Day. Although not as numerous as the 5 million women who took to the streets of several Spanish cities or the hundreds of thousands in Argentina, the mobilisation in Lima was nevertheless important in highlighting the prevalence of abuse.
The case of a young girl who disappeared after attending a summer camp event at a police unit received much attention. The march was led by Arlette Contreras who two years ago was filmed being dragged by the hair, only to see her attacker acquitted last month.
Also present were the organisations of women victims of forced sterilisation, as well as the several artistic collectives that have taken up their cause on the streets in the past couple of years. They chanted “we are the daughters of the campesinas you could not sterilise”. They wore stylised traditional red polleras to which were pinned cardboard effigies of a bloodied uterus emblazoned with their slogan “we are 2,074 and many more”. They also chanted against Kuczynski and the pardon he gave to Alberto Fujimori.
Women from all walks of life joined, and there was wide participation from indigenous campesina women as well as handicraft workers who all marched as collectives. Other participants included family members of the disappeared from the years of violence, women with disabilities as well as those who had lost loved ones from gender violence.
Women’s minister Ana María Choquehuanca was prevented from joining the march; protesters chanted “you do not represent us”.