Political groups are calling for a protest against a bill passed in Congress which is slated to benefit elderly convicts, allowing them to serve house arrest. The bill was passed on October 11 with the support of Keiko Fujimori’s Frente Popular (FP). The measure is widely viewed as a direct attempt to prevent former President Alberto Fujimori to return to prison after his humanitarian pardon was recently nullified by the Supreme Court. The demonstration is slated to take place on October 18 at 17:00 (local time), with protesters gathering at Plaza San Martín in central Lima. Around 2,500 people have expressed interest in attending the demonstration through social media.
The demonstration could potentially attract crowds in the low thousands, possibly surpassing 3,000 participants. Precedent suggests demonstrators are also likely to march to the nearby Congress. Given that Peruvian society remains polarized between Fujimori’s supporters and detractors, any development regarding the situation of the former President, his family or supporters, is liable to trigger political turmoil. In this context, although no counter-protest has been scheduled for that day as of yet, minor incidents cannot be ruled out. Precedent also indicates that violent activists supporting Fujimori are liable to infiltrate protest actions.
Those residing or operating in Lima on October 17 are advised to exercise vigilance around the city center during evening hours, and avoid the surroundings of Plaza San Martín and the Congress. Anticipate traffic disruptions in the city center, especially near the protest areas.