Last week in South America, in Peru, voters headed to the polls for regional and municipal elections, with conservative Rafael López Aliaga winning Lima’s mayoral elections. Likewise, political violence increased in Brazil as voters participated in the first round of presidential elections. In Colombia, violent attacks against civilians and clashes over territory reportedly led to six deaths. In Argentina, Mapuche Indigenous communities were evicted from their land last week, including a pregnant Mapuche woman, prompting the resignation of the Minister for Women, Gender, and Diversity.
In Peru, voters headed to the polls for local elections last week. The mayoral race in the capital city Lima drew attention both from inside Lima and other areas of Peru, with conservative Rafael López Aliaga narrowly beating out retired military leader Daniel Urresti. Lima is the center of the opposition to President Pedro Castillo’s administration; now, the newly elected mayor López Aliaga is calling for Castillo to be ousted, paving the way to a conflict between the local and national governments. Urresti’s supporters demonstrated outside the ballot count in Moro district, expressing their discontent with the results of Lima’s mayoral election and claiming the vote was fraudulent (Diario de Chimbote, 4 October 2022). Similarly, in the Rahua region, demonstrators burnt down ballot boxes and electoral material, rejecting the result. In addition, the rioters attacked police, military offices, and representatives of the Decentralized Electoral Process Office and the Special Electoral Jury. These trends contribute to the 60% increase in violent events in Peru over the past week relative to the previous month’s weekly average, as flagged by ACLED’s Conflict Change Map.
In Brazil, the first round of presidential elections was held on 2 October between far-right incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro and two-time former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. While Lula came out on top with 48% of the vote, he was shy of the majority necessary for an outright win. On election night, Bolsonaro supporters clashed with Lula supporters in the Tijuca neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro; when Lula overtook his rival in the vote count, they began beating each other with sticks and stones and throwing smoke bombs. Elsewhere, on the coast of São Paulo, a Lula supporter stabbed his Bolsonaro-supporting roommate to death after a political argument. ACLED’s Emerging Actor Tracker flagged an increase in emerging actors in Brazil this month, presenting a possible increased risk to civilians. The candidates will face off in the run-off election on 30 October, with Bolsonaro suggesting he may not accept the result if the election goes against him (BBC, 2 October 2022).
In Colombia, hooded armed individuals reportedly killed five people and injured two others in Santiago de Cali city, Valle del Cauca department (El Pais, 4 October 2022). Although the perpetrators and their motives for the attack are still under investigation, authorities reported the presence of the National Liberation Army, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia dissident groups, and other criminal organizations in the area (El Pais, 4 October 2022). Elsewhere in Santiago de Cali, residents of an illegal occupation on the city’s outskirts held several demonstration events last week to repudiate a planned eviction. During the operation, police forces clashed with occupants, reportedly resulting in one death due to tear gas and six people injured, including one police officer (El Espectador, 6 October 2022). ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Valle del Cauca during the preceding four weeks.
In Argentina, police forces evicted a Mapuche Indigenous community from an occupied territory in Villa Mascardi village in Rio Negro province last week. Community members threw rocks and burning objects at police officers, who responded with tear gas to disperse the rioters. The incident sparked numerous demonstration events elsewhere, including incidents where Mapuche community members and supporters vandalized two churches in Villa La Angostura village, blocked a road in Chubut province by burning tires, and protested at the airport in Rio Negro province, where some Mapuche members were arrested. The Minister for Women, Gender, and Diversity, Elizabeth Gomez Alcorta, resigned days later in opposition to the eviction of a group of Indigenous Mapuche women, one of whom was pregnant. The Patagonia region, which includes Rio Negro province, is shared with neighboring Chile and is often the backdrop of conflict with Mapuche communities claiming their ancestral land rights.
In Chile, an anarchist group named Maipo Insurrectional Cell – New Subversion set five trucks on fire in Puente Alto commune, Metropolitana region, in defense of the environmental protection of the Maipo River. The trucks belonged to a private enterprise located on the north bank of the Maipo River, which the group alleges generates hundreds of millions of pesos in revenue at the expense of the destruction of the river (Biobio Chile, 4 October 2022). ACLED’s Subnational Threat & Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Metropolitana during the preceding four weeks.
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED. Use the date filters to view data for the one-week period covered by this Regional Overview.