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46 confirmed dead as Peru protests intensify

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46 confirmed dead as Peru protests intensify

With no less than 46 deaths verified since the violent protests began early last month, the demonstrations in Lima, Peru, demanding the resignation of President Dina Boluarte have only gotten worse.

The anti-government protests that have engulfed the nation since early December show no signs of slowing down, and riot police have deployed tear gas to disperse them in the capital of Peru according to Aljazeera.

Before the police fired their first round of tear gas, some could be heard chanting, “Dina murderer.”

“The social protests will continue. Interior Minister Vicente Romero said on state television, “We are working intensively with the defence ministry to resolve them,” he added.

Despite the declaration of a state of emergency by the government, protesters are planning another large gathering in Lima this coming Tuesday to ask for Boluarte’s resignation.

The 60-year-old Edmunda Canaguira said to the AFP news agency, “We urgently need Dina to resign.”

“She doesn’t listen to the people. It’s her fault that we are in the streets this week, without food, without being able to sleep,” continued Canaguira, who had traveled to the capital from Sicuani in the southeast Andes of Peru to take part in the demonstrations.

Protesters, many of them are from underdeveloped Andean regions, are also calling for the dissolution of Congress, new elections, and a new constitution.

Despite criticism from civil rights organizations, the minister defended the police and hailed their “spectacular” skills.

When authorities were engaged in combat with the left-wing Shining Path insurgents, Romero stated, “Right now we’re experiencing one of the highest levels of violence in recent years since 1980s.”

He once more accused a “faceless” organization of funding the demonstrations that, according to him, injured 540 police officers.

Authorities have long alleged that illicit miners and drug dealers are influencing the protesters.

The first signs of trouble appeared on December 7, when Castillo, the president at the time, was charged with insurrection after being discovered trying to dissolve Congress and govern by decree.

His supporters have continued their daily demonstrations and barricades across the nation, occasionally even actively trying to invade airports.

In eight of Peru’s 25 provinces, there were still more than 80 blocked roads as of Monday.

On Saturday, the renowned historical monument Machu Picchu was closed. Rail services to the location had already been discontinued prior to closure owing to track damage.

Over the weekend, Machu Picchu had to be evacuated of more than 400 stranded tourists.

Arequipa and Juliaca’s airports in the south continue to be closed.

A demonstrator affected by tear gas shot by riot police lies in the street during a protest demanding the resignation of Peru's President Dina Boluarte in Lima on January 23, 2023. - Civil unrest since the ouster of Dina Boluarte's predecessor, Pedro Castillo, in early December has left 46 people dead and prompted the government to impose a state of emergency in violence-hit areas.

 

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