Fifth fatality in Cajamarca: police denied medical care

José Antonio Sánchez Huamán (29) died this morning in a Cajamarcan hospital. He was shot by police forces during an anti-Conga protest in Celendín two days ago. This morning, he died from his injuries. The circumstances of his death are scandalous, and a violation of fundamental human rights.

The victim was shot, the bullet penetrated his upper-neck. Together with other demonstrators the victim was arrested by the police and denied any medical care. Instead of bringing him to the local hospital in the city of Celendín, the detainees were put in a police car. They were brought to the city of Cajamarca, a four hour drive. There, they would be transported to Chiclayo, in Chiclayo protesters are being charged officially. Though, the victim was in critical condition when they arrived in Cajamarca. There, four hours later, the victim was brought to a hospital where he got in a coma. Two days later, on the fifth of July, he died in the morning.

Today, at 6 pm, there was a memorial service in the San Francisco church at the main square in Cajamarca. The church was filled with mourning citizens, the service was peacefully and took little more than 1 hour. Leaving the church, the priest asked to ignore the police that had shown up in great numbers.

Today, it also became clear that the lawyers of Marco Arana were abused at the police station; they were hit frequently while demanding the immediate release of the Father yesterday. In the early morning Marco Arana was set free, at 11 am he spoke to the press about the circumstances of his arrest. “I asked the police officers to stop hitting me, but they continued.” He added that “they knocked me to the ground, and kicked me from behind.” He asked that the violence and the police brutality would stop and demanded that operations at the mining zone would be suspended.

The head of the Peruvian National Police, Raúl Salazar Salazar, said during a press conference that demonstrators were warned three times that they had to leave the square. According to him Marco Arana refused, than police officers decided to arrest him. “They were no intentions to do harm to Marco Arana”, he added. Different videos showing the arrest of Father Marco Arana contradict these statements. Police forces brutally, and without any warning, arrested him and mistreated the leader of the green party Tierra y Libertad. The Peruvian National Police will investigate the case.

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