Peru: anti-TPP protests rock Lima

Protesters opposed to the Trans-Pacific Parternship marched through downtown Lima Feb. 25 and engaged in clashes with police, as a break-away group vandalized the headquarters of the APRA party. Lima has seen at least four protests against the TPP since Peru signed the agreement in New Zealand on Feb. 4, but these were the first to end in violence. Police used tear-gas after protesters threw rocks and set fires. "The TPP is the most dangerous trade agreement signed in history because it threatens national sovereignty, access to medicine and the Internet, healthy eating and a clean environment," read flyers passed out by the protesters. Protest organizers Dignity Collective denied having vandalized the APRA building in a statement the following morning, while also condemning "excessive repression" by the police and demanding that the 20 arrested protesters be freed. Former Cabinet chief Jorge del Castillo responded in comments to the media that the protesters were sympathizers of the Shining Path. (Peru Reports, Feb. 26; Prensa Latina, Feb. 25)