Two killed in Peru as protests spread against new president

LIMA: Protests against Peru’s new government turned bloody on Sunday, with two people killed as police clashed with angry protesters calling for a nationwide strike, new elections and release the imprisoned former president Pedro Castillo.
Protests have increased, especially in northern and Andean towns, since the South American nation’s legislature on Wednesday removed left-wing Castillo after he attempted to disperse it. Conference and rule by decree.
dina boluartea former prosecutor who served as Castillo’s vice president, was quickly sworn in to replace him.
On Saturday, she introduced her new cabinet, a group with an independent and technocratic profile and comprised of eight women.
She named the former prosecutor Pedro Angle be prime minister.
Once impeached, Castillo was quickly arrested and on Sunday protesters in cities across the country – including Cajamarca, Arequipa, Huancayo, Cusco and Puno – demanded his release. .
Fresh clashes erupted on Sunday between protesters and police in the southern city of Andahuaylas, leaving two dead and at least five injured – including a police officer – as protesters attempted to attempted to storm the city’s airport, authorities said.
Violence Police were deployed to the airport to stop thousands of protesters in Andahuaylas, located in the Apurimac area, Boluarte’s hometown.
Protesters fired slingshots and hurled rocks, while police responded with tear gas, images from the scene broadcast by local television. A police station in the Huancabamba town of Apurimac was set on fire, RPP radio reported.
“I urge everyone to remain calm,” Interior Minister Cesar Cervantes told the radio station, as he announced the second death shortly after police confirmed the first – a teenager.
Clashes in Andahuaylas on Saturday left 16 civilians and four police officers injured.
“No Peruvian should sacrifice their life for political gain,” Boluarte tweeted Sunday night, reiterating his call for “dialogue and rejection of violence.”
The country’s right-wing parliament convened an emergency session on Sunday afternoon to discuss the crisis, but had to pause it after conflicts broke out.
In pictures posted on social media, a man can be seen punching another man from behind and then the members jostling each other in the middle of the room.
Some 1,000 to 2,000 people rallied in Lima on Sunday shouting: “Castillo you are not alone, everyone supports you” and branded banners accusing “Dina and Congress” of being “corrupt rats” ‘ before police dispersed the crowd with tear gas.
Meanwhile, rural associations and organizations representing indigenous peoples called for an “indefinite strike” starting Tuesday in support of Castillo, the son of a farming family. people.
They demanded the suspension of Congress, early elections and the enactment of a new constitution and the immediate release of Castillo, according to a statement from the Peruvian Agricultural and Rural Front, a gathering of about a dozen organizations. .
The Rural Front argued that Castillo “did not carry out a coup” on Wednesday when he announced the suspension of Congress and said he would rule by decree.
With a background as a rural teacher and union leader, and little contact with the nation’s elites, Castillo always drew its strongest support from the Andean regions, while struggling to make ends meet. seeking support in coastal Lima.
The ousted president was arrested Wednesday while on his way to the Mexican embassy to seek asylum, and prosecutors have charged him with sedition and conspiracy.
The demand for new elections comes as recent polls show that nearly nine in 10 Peruvians disapprove of the nation’s legislature.
Political analyst Giovanna Penaflor told AFP that Boluarte – who on Friday did not rule out calling an early election – needed to clarify whether she intends to lead a transitional government or stay in power until year 2026.
“She should make it clear that her role is to facilitate new general elections,” Penaflor added, adding that doing so would provide the necessary stability and “allow the internal These are not like the previous cabinet.”
Peru now has its sixth president since 2016.
Castillo’s 17-month reign was overshadowed by six investigations against him and his family, mass protests demanding his ouster and a power struggle with the opposition-backed Congress.


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