- BBC News World
The protests unleashed in Peru after the impeachment and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo – who tried to dissolve Congress and establish an emergency government – have left at least 18 dead in the last week, according to figures from the Ministry of Health.
Since Castillo’s departure on December 7, the protests have spread throughout the country, but they have been especially violent in some inland areas. In other cases they expressed themselves peacefully.
The current situation led to the first resignations in the cabinet of the current president Dina Boluarte.
The Minister of Education, Patricia Correa, presented her resignation this Friday arguing that the death of compatriots in social protests “There is no justification”.
Shortly after, the resignation of the Minister of Culture, Jair Pérez Brañez, followed for the same reasons.
This same Friday, after a long session that had started on Thursday, Congress did not approve the bill to advance the elections.
Although 49 congressmen voted in favor of the constitutional reform project that proposed the electoral advance, 33 did so against and 25 abstained, so it did not go ahead.
The proposal raised hold the elections in December 2023thus shortening the term of Boluarte, who was responsible for assuming the Head of State to complete the presidential term for which Castillo was elected and which ends in mid-2026.
Tension in Ayacucho and stranded tourists
Thursday was a day of great tension and strong protests.
A judge ordered 18 months of preventive detention for Castilloaccused of the crimes of rebellion and conspiracy, while the Boluarte government -which had already declared a state of national emergency the day before- decreed a five-day night curfew in 15 provinces of the country to deal with the problems of public order.
One of the most serious incidents occurred in Ayacucho, an Andean city located some 390 kilometers southeast of Lima, where a mass of protesters tried to take over the airport of that town.
The clash between the military and the police with the demonstrators left eight dead and 52 injured on that day alone, according to the Ayacucho Regional Health Directorate.
As the Ombudsman, Eliana Revollar, explained to the AFP agency, the clash occurred when the military were surrounded by the crowd. She added that what happened warrants a criminal investigation because the victims died from gunshot wounds and the state of emergency does not eliminate the obligation to respect the right to life.
In addition, some 5,000 tourists were stranded in Cusco, Darwin Baca, the mayor of Machu Picchu, told the AFP agency, whose visitors base themselves in that city.
Cusco airport was closed on Monday after protesters wanted to storm the terminal. This Friday, air operations resumed with a first flight that left at 1:30 p.m. local time (18:30 GMT), reported the Ministry of Defense.
The train service that goes from Machu Picchu to Cusco was suspended since Tuesday and some 800 tourists were stranded in the ancient Inca city, Baca added.
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