Two dead, several injured in clashes in Puno

15 April 2019

Interior Minister Carlos Morán has been asked to appear before Congress on 15 April to clarify events in San Gabán, Puno, last week in which two farmers were killed and several wounded.

According to the police account, the incidents occurred as a consequence of the efforts of coca eradicators to set up an encampment in the San Gabán district of Carabaya province in Puno. This was part of an operation to root up coca plants. Workers for Corah, the drug eradication agency, and their police bodyguards, the police say, were attacked by coca farmers, wielding machetes and sticks, and throwing stones. The police fought back with tear gas and firearms, killing two of the cocaleros. These events led to subsequent attempts to block the Inter-Oceanic Highway.

However, this version has been contradicted by the mayor of San Gabán, Roger Larico Quispe. According to him “they [the cocaleros], noticing the arrival [of the police] sought to engage with them and ask of them the reason for their presence. The police responded in the belief that they were under attack, firing their guns and killing two of our brother farmers”.

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