February 1, 2023

There are already 52 dead and the state of emergency is extended in Peru, amid violent protests

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(CNN Spanish) — The Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office raised the death toll related to protests in the country to 52, after one person died in Macusani, Carabaya province, according to a published statement by the entity this Thursday on Twitter.

The Ombudsman’s Office reported that until this Wednesday a total of 722 injuries had been registered since the start of the protests. In addition, he explained that a police officer died in clashes and 422 were injured.

During the day of this Wednesday, according to the Ombudsman’s Office, a total of 105 roads were blocked and protests were registered in 45 provinces of the country. The Ombudsman called for a peaceful protest and for the Police not to use disproportionate force, if necessary.

unprecedented violence

The recent protests throughout Peru—in which clashes between protesters and law enforcement have been reported—followed the ouster of Pedro Castillo as president on December 7.

A state of emergency was imposed that month, airports and highways were the scene of some clashes, and hundreds of foreign tourists were stranded in the country amid the chaos.

On those who died during the protests, human rights groups assure that the authorities used excessive force against the protests, which included firearms. For its part, the Army affirms that the demonstrators have used explosives and improvised weapons, reports Reuters.

During this weekend, the Government of Peru extended for 30 days the state of emergency in the capital, Lima, and in the regions of Cusco, Puno and the constitutional province of Callao. The state of emergency suspends various constitutional rights, such as freedom of movement and assembly.

The office of Peru’s new president, Dina Boluarte, now seems as under siege as that of her predecessor. In January, Peru’s Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into Boluarte’s handling of the riots, and several of her ministers have resigned.

violence peru

Peru has been rocked by political turmoil since the ouster of former President Pedro Castillo in December. Credit: Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

Why are the protesters so angry?

Castillo’s removal has accelerated political tensions in the country.

The demonstrators demand new elections, the resignation of Boluarte, a change in the Constitution and the release of Castillo, who is in preventive detention.

Castillo, a former teacher and union leader who had never held elected office before becoming president, hailed from rural Peru and presented himself as a man of the people. Many of his supporters come from poorer regions, hoping that Castillo would offer better prospects to the country’s rural and indigenous population.

Although protests have taken place across the country, the greatest violence has occurred in the rural and indigenous south, which has long been at odds with elites. white coastal and mestizas.

The Peruvian legislature is also viewed with skepticism by public opinion. The president and congressmen cannot serve consecutive terms under Peruvian law, and critics have pointed to their lack of political experience.

Tara John contributed to this report.





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