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News > Peru

Peruvian Police Kill Young Man During Farm Workers Protest

  • A man holds up a sign that reads,

    A man holds up a sign that reads, "Increase wages, stop abuses," during a protest in Viru, Peru, Dec. 2, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @OutPeru

Published 4 December 2020

Jorge Muñoz was hit in the head with a pellet. The police deny having shot with firearms, but witnesses took pictures of the cartridges.

Peru's National Police officers Thursday shot dead young farmer Jorge Muñoz during a peaceful protest called by farmworkers in Viru city, La Libertad Department. 


Workers' Unions March to Demand a New Constitution in Peru

Muñoz, 20, joined the 8,000 people's march that blocked the Pan-American North Highway, the country's main road, to demand better working conditions and higher wages. 

"The police disrupted the march with tear gas and gunshots. My son was hit in the head with a pellet," the young man's father said and recalled that Muñoz recently had a child and was about to get married.

President Francisco Sagasti learned the news after witnesses shared on social networks the video of the young man's death and the police brutality with which the police tried to halt the protest. 

"We will investigate what happened and under what circumstances. It is a tragedy. We don't want anyone to die in protests for defending their labor rights," Sagasti said.

Police General Angel Toledo denied that the agents used pellets or firearms, but images of the incident contradict his version. Pictures show the cartridges that were left on the pavement in the protest area. 

The deaths of two people during anti-government protests last month prompted the resignation of interim President Manuel Merino just five days after he had succeeded Martin Vizcarra, who was impeached.

"This new death will be the end of Sagasti's government," lawmaker Marta Chavez tweeted after the news of Muñoz's murder shook the country.

For five consecutive days, agricultural workers took to the streets to demand the overturn of a law passed in 2000 by former President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000). The document benefits agribusiness companies instead of farmers.

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