The current premier Alberto Otárola met with the head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces on December 11, one day before the first states of emergency were decreed to control protests against Dina Boluarte.
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According to an investigation by Punto Final, at that time, the current president of the Council of Ministers served as Minister of Defense. A day before he had been sworn in as such.
Already in that position, he scheduled a secret meeting with Manuel Gómez De la Torre, head of the Armed Forces, and Raúl Alfaro, general commander of the Peruvian National Police (PNP). The meeting does not appear in official records, despite the fact that the Transparency and Access to Information Law requires that this information be public.
But it was confirmed in an email, in which a meeting was called for the afternoon of Sunday, December 11, 2022. Through this message, Alberto Otárola requested a meeting with the aforementioned authorities. The reason was to talk about the deaths registered in Andahuaylas, within the framework of the protests against Dina Boluarte.
Demonstrators carry banners and images depicting Peru’s President Dina Boluarte and Prime Minister Alberto Otarola during a protest to demand the dissolution of Congress and democratic elections, rejecting the new government, after the ouster of leftist President Pedro Castillo, in Lima, Peru January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Alessandro Cinque
As proof, there were also the food orders they placed and that were paid for by the petty cash of the Ministry of Defense. In the document supporting expenses, which the secretary of the presidential office filled out by hand, it was confirmed that the heads of the Armed Forces participated. and PNP.
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At that time, the president of the Council of Ministers was Pedro Angulo, who now responds that he does not know if Alberto Otárola, as Minister of Defense, participated in this meeting.
In a letter that Angulo sent to Otárola on December 19, after the meeting with the head of the Armed Forces. and PNP, the former premier expressed concern about allegations of torture against law enforcement forces. He had denounced himself during the mobilizations against Dina Boluarte, which began on December 7, 2022.
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On January 23, 2022, the Prosecutor’s Office in charge of investigating senior officials of the Dina Boluarte government, for the deaths during the protests, asked Alberto Otárola if he received directives from former chief of staff Pedro Angulo to ensure the integrity of the citizens. The current premier responded yes.
“I’m not sure if I was aware of it, but I can’t deny it either. The truth is that it has been a while. We were all aiming for the same solution. What it was about was offering alternatives to pacify the country. I’m not against them meeting. I don’t think that I had to know all the meetings that were going to take place,” commented Pedro Angulo.
Friend of the premier and her family members benefited from jobs in the State.| Infobae Peru (Camila Calderón) / PCM
The meeting was not recorded, which causes suspicion for Gloria Cano, lawyer for the Association for Human Rights (Aprodeh), because it was held in a context in which dozens of people died due to clashes with police, in the protests.
“That a meeting does not appear among the notes that, by the Transparency Law, must be held, causes suspicion. Above all because they are precisely in those days before making the decision to declare the state of emergency and ask for the support of the Army to the National Police, in crowd control,” he noted.
The Public Ministry, which is preliminarily investigating Alberto Otárola and Dina Boluarte, for the deaths that occurred during the demonstrations, is unaware of this meeting, which could harm the investigation.
Both the Ministry of Defense and the Joint Command of the Armed Forces responded that such a meeting did not exist.