The testimony of a Peruvian soldier who survived while crossing the Ilave river last weekend amid protests in the southern city of Puno indicates that the Peruvian Army was responsible for the death of six soldiers who drowned while trying to cross the icy river with heavy equipment. The soldiers had been ordered to cross the river to get to the Pachacutec barracks faster in order to repress the Aymara people on the opposite bank.
The soldiers who survived the crossing have started speaking out.
In a recording, one of the survivors said that they crossed the river by order of the captain of their patrol. The Aymaras were watching from a distance. None of them attacked the soldiers.
He emphasized that the military high command is only interested in avoiding responsibility for the deaths of six soldiers.
“The army does not want to talk about responsibilities and negligence,” reported Peruvian journalist Rosa María Palacios for the news outlet La República, referring to the recorded testimony of the survivor. “From the very first moment, witnesses claimed that the captain gave the order.”
The survivor of the tragedy added that the surviving members of the patrol are under duress, and due to this, they have given a false version of the events.
This account contrasts with the declarations by the head of the Joint Command of the Peruvian Armed Forces, Major General Manuel de la Torre, who said that “the situation arose when a shower of stones and other objects were thrown at the soldiers while they were crossing the river.”
However, images circulating on social media show that the soldiers crossed the river without being attacked by the Aymara people assembled on the other bank.
(Últimas Noticias) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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