Peruvian women ask Michelle Bachelet for help in face of violence
Protesters denounce violence against women in Peru during a visit by UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on July 18, 2022 Cris BOURONCLE AFP

Some 30 Peruvian women, including transgender women, gathered Monday to denounce the daily violence they suffer and demand action from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, at a protest in Lima.

"Help! Peruvian laws humiliate women because they don't defend us. What they do is defend the aggressor," Magaly Aguilar, wearing a photo of her daughter who was the victim of femicide, told AFP.

The group staged a performance based on the dystopian book "The Handmaid's Tale," wearing red dresses and white headscarves, while Bachelet, a former president of Chile, met with Indigenous groups at the regional headquarters of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

"We want to warn Michelle Bachelet about what is happening to women and people of gender and sexual diversity in Peru," said 29-year-old activist Gahela Cari, who is transgender.

Peru recorded a marked increase in violence against women in 2021, with 146 femicides versus 138 registered the year before.

Bachelet is on an official visit until Wednesday and was received at the beginning of the day by Foreign Minister Cesar Landa and Justice Minister Felix Chero.

"We continue to deepen the human rights agenda here in Peru," Bachelet said at the Foreign Ministry, stressing she would continue to engage with the different challenges that the South American country faces.

At the ILO, Bachelet received leaders of the main Indigenous groups of the Peruvian Amazon, who described the climate of harassment and violence caused by drug gangs and illegal loggers.

The Amazonian communities also drew attention to the environmental pollution that affects rivers in the Peruvian jungle caused by oil spills and mining.

© 2022 AFP