Peru: protests against Boluarte resume

Thousands of demonstrators have resumed protests against President Dina Boluarte in various regions of Peru after a partial lull for the New Year holidays. After the December sacking of his predecessor, Pedro Castillo, for trying to dissolve Congress to prevent his removal, days of violent social mobilization followed.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Ombudsman’s Office denounced mobilizations, strikes and checkpoints in 36 provinces, equal to 18.4% of the total.

In addition, he reported 35 roadblocks, clashes with law enforcement near an airport, fire at a toll booth and attacks on a public transport vehicle in Arequipa, Puno and Tacna, southern regions of Peru.

In Lima, protesters who had arrived in Manco Cápac square, where they had previously camped, were driven back by police with tear gas. Then they continued their march to try to reach Congress, but the police prevented them from passing.

In reaction, President Boluarte has launched another appeal for peace and reiterated that there will be no impunity in the case of the deaths that occurred in the December mobilizations, which are at least 27 civilians.

In Cusco, in southern Peru, the Ferrocarril Transandino concessionaire has suspended the train service leading to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the country’s main tourist attraction, as a preventive measure against the resumption of protests, despite the unions in the area announcing that they were suspending their mobilizations to talk to the authorities.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism has implemented secure tourist corridors from the airports to the historic center of the southern cities of Cusco, Arequipa, Puno and Tacna, and a registry for tourists in case they are blocked.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has ensured that entry to the country’s airports is available only to passengers and that they must carry their boarding pass.

The ombudsman’s office highlighted the establishment of a multi-sector government commission to provide assistance and financial support to those bereaved and injured by the kidnapping.

Boluarte took over the government after Castillo, who had been president since 2021, was removed by Congress after he tried to dissolve this state power on December 7. The current president was a vice president and was elected on the same list as her predecessor. Parliament installed her as his constitutional successor on December 7th.

Castillo was later arrested and is in custody while authorities investigate him for alleged rebellion and conspiracy. These events sparked protests in Peru, which left 27 dead and hundreds injured. Protesters are calling for new elections, the closure of Congress and the resignation of Boluarte. Those closest to Castillo are demanding that he be released.

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