Last week in South America, anti-government demonstrations continued in Peru, while ongoing disagreement over the next national census in Bolivia continued to spark nationwide demonstrations and counter-demonstrations. In Colombia, armed groups carried out deadly attacks targeting social leaders and former rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC). In Brazil, violent events involving the First Capital Command (PCC) and the Red Command (CV) led to over a dozen reported fatalities in the country, while supporters of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro continued to demonstrate against the presidential election results.
In Peru, people took to the street to demand President Pedro Castillo’s resignation in light of corruption allegations against his administration, with demonstrators also demanding the closure of Congress and the drafting of a new constitution. In Lima, police officers clashed with demonstrators and used teargas to prevent demonstrators from reaching the Congress and presidential palace. Meanwhile, Castillo supporters held counter-demonstrations and attacked journalists covering the event. This violence contributed to the 112% increase in violent events in Peru last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the country during the preceding four weeks. Castillo is the subject of six corruption investigations; however, he cannot be prosecuted while in office. In October, the attorney general filed a constitutional complaint accusing the president of leading a criminal organization and committing other crimes, including influence peddling and collusion (El País, 12 October 2022).
In Bolivia, anti-government demonstrations related to disagreements over the timing of the national census continued last week, causing outbreaks of violence across the Santa Cruz department. Demonstrators accuse the government of delaying the census to forestall increases in the municipality’s allocation of state resources and parliamentary seats in line with population growth since the last census in 2012. Supporters of the ruling Movement for Socialism party held violent counter-demonstrations, erected roadblocks, and attacked opposing demonstrators and journalists covering the event. This violence contributed to the 218% increase in average weekly violent events in Bolivia in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the country during the preceding four weeks.
In Colombia, armed groups targeted social leaders and demobilized FARC combatants in separate deadly attacks last week. In Cúcuta, Norte de Santander department, unidentified perpetrators reportedly shot dead a social leader who served as the president of a Council of Communal Action and was a retired member of the military forces. The victim had been receiving death threats for his involvement in social programs related to violence and security (El Tiempo, 10 November 2022). Moreover, in the Cauca department, unknown perpetrators reportedly killed a demobilized FARC member serving in the National Protection Unit (UNP) in the rural area of Caloto municipality. The UNP is a state unit set up to protect vulnerable people, including ex-members of the former guerilla group (INDEPAZ, 5 November 2022). Social leaders and former FARC combatants have been among the most vulnerable groups in Colombia since the 2016 Peace Accord (for more, see ACLED’s analysis piece: Understanding the Killing of Social Leaders in Colombia During COVID-19).
In Brazil, violent events involving drug trafficking and organized criminal groups led to over a dozen reported fatalities across Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul states last week. In Mato Grosso state, PCC prisoners reportedly killed and decapitated a CV prisoner within the Dr. Osvaldo Florentino Leite Ferreira Penitentiary in Sinop municipality over ongoing disputes between the groups, while at least two civilians were killed in violent attacks perpetrated by the CV. Likewise, in Minas Gerais state, PCC members abducted and tortured two civilians before they were rescued by police. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais during the preceding four weeks.
In Mato Grosso do Sul state, military police clashed with the PCC in Campo Grande municipality, reportedly killing two group members. These trends contribute to the 159% increase in average weekly violent events in Mato Grosso do Sul in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. The Subnational Tracker also warned of increased violence in Mato Grosso do Sul during the preceding four weeks.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro supporters continued to carry out demonstrations last week against the results of the presidential election and the victory of President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Roadblocks and gatherings around army battalions were reported throughout the country, although to a much smaller extent compared to the week prior. Pro-Bolsonaro protests were observed in 14 states and the Federal District.
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.