Urresti and La Cautiva

18 January 2015

La Cautiva is a play about people involved in the counter-insurgency war against Sendero Luminoso. Having run for several months to critical acclaim, it has been denounced by Interior Minister Daniel Urresti as an ‘apology for terrorism’. Those involved in the production deny vehemently that this is the case, arguing that it is a work of fiction based on real events and that Urresti’s moves to make the play a matter of police investigation constitutes an attack on free speech and the freedom to reflect critically on the country’s past. Whether intentional or not, Urresti’s remarks coincided with the protests in Paris against the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Faced with a barrage of protest, the government’s anti-terrorist prosecutor, Julio Galindo, announced that there was insufficient proof to launch a case against La Cautiva.

Urresti is widely viewed as using his position as interior minister to stake out the terrain for a possible bid for the presidency in 2016. Routinely dressing in police uniform, this former military officer has successfully used a ‘law and order’ platform to create a name for himself. He scores far higher than any other cabinet minister in terms of popularity. Polls show that citizen insecurity is the number-one issue for most potential voters. Urresti has in recent weeks also issued dozens of crudely-worded tweets attacking other potential presidential hopefuls.

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