At least seven people have died in ongoing protests in Peru after former President Pedro Castillo was impeached and later arrested after trying to dissolve Congress last week.
Two minors are among the dead, Peru’s ombudsman’s press office told CNNE on Tuesday, and there were two deaths on Sunday and five on Monday.
Since last week, demonstrations have erupted in cities across the country in support of Castillo, who has refused to step down and has called his successor Dina Boluarte a “usurper”.
Demonstrators have called for general elections, the dissolution of Congress and the creation of a new constitutional assembly, according to broadcaster Radio Programas del Perú.
Trains to and from Machu Picchu will be suspended from Tuesday due to the protests, rail operator PeruRail said in a statement.
“We regret the inconvenience these announcements bring to our passengers; however, they are due to situations beyond our company’s control and seek to prioritize passenger and employee safety,” the statement said.
Flights have also been disrupted due to the protests, with LATAM Airlines Peru announcing the temporary suspension of services to and from airports in the cities of Arequipa and Cuzco.
Protesters tried to storm the terminal at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cuzco on Monday, according to the Peruvian Airports and Commercial Aviation Corporation (CORPAC).
According to CORPAC, so far there have been no reports of injuries, arrests or damage at the airport.
LATAM called on Peruvian authorities to take “corrective measures to ensure safety” for the operation of its flights.
“We regret the inconvenience this situation beyond our control has caused our passengers,” he added.
Peru’s National Police said that, as of Monday evening, there were blockades on national roads in at least 11 regions of the country.
In addition, the government has declared a state of emergency in seven provinces in the Apurimac region in south-central Peru.
Peru has been wracked by political instability in recent years and has been on the brink since Castillo was accused of trying to dissolve the country’s Congress last week.
And Boluarte’s ascension to the presidency may not necessarily ease Peru’s toxic and bitter political landscape.
Many Peruvians have called for political change, according to a September poll by the Institute of Peruvian Studies, which found 60% of respondents supported early elections to refresh the presidency and Congress.
Boluarte “does not have a known political career,” said Fernando Tuesta Soldevilla, professor of political science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. “And without party support, political party or social organization behind it, it is weak from the beginning.”
“Everyone knows when Dina Boluarte’s government started, but no one can be sure how long it will last,” he told CNN.
On Monday morning, Boluarte proposed bringing the general election two years earlier, to April 2024, after initially rejecting the idea.
Leave a Reply