Latin American Report



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7 August 1999

Peruvians March Against President

Nearly 20,000 workers, students and retirees from all over Peru marched on July 26 in Lima to protest President Alberto Fujimori's neoliberal economic policies and his intentions to run for reelection to a third consecutive term.

Participants in the "National Day of Struggle" were also demanding that elections for regional governments be held next year. Taking part in the march were regional civic groups, political groups, labor unions, professional associations, retiree groups and grassroots organizations. "No to reelection," "Jobs yes, foreign debt no," and "Down with the dictatorship" were some of the slogans chanted by demonstrators. Marches were also staged in the cities of Cusco, Arequipa, Trujillo, and Iquitos. [La Republica (Lima) 7/27/99; Hoy (NY) 7/27/99 from AP]

Several opposition congresspeople held their own protests against Fujimori as he gave his annual address to the nation at a congressional session on July 28. Congressperson Anel Townsend set an empty pot on the table in front of the president as he spoke, to represent the hunger and poverty caused by Fujimori's economic policies. Congressperson Carlos Chipoco shouted at Fujimori during the session, while other opposition congresspeople held signs saying "No reelection" and other slogans mirroring the demands of the July 26 protest march. The presidential address to the nation came on the eve of Peru's July 29 independence celebrations. [El Diario-La Prensa (NY) 7/31/99 from EFE; LR 7/29/99, 7/30/99]

Weekly News Update on the Americas * Nicaragua Solidarity Network of NY