Havoc continues in Peru amid confrontations between riot police, protesters

Protesters demand former vice president resign as president

Weeks of demonstrations have turned deadly amid protesters’ cries to have Peruvian President Dina Bolouarte resign and hold presidential elections.

According to Peruvian authorities, 56 deaths have been associated with the protests including 46 that were linked to the clashes with the riot police.

Police officers charge against protesters on Jan. 24, 2023, in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Martin Meja) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“The right to protest cannot be accompanied by violence, destruction, and death,” Bolouarte said in Spanish during a speech Tuesday to call for a “national truce.”

Bolouarte, the former vice president and the country’s first woman to serve as president, stepped up after Congress impeached the former leftist President Pedro Castillo on Dec. 7, after his attempt to dissolve Congress.

Police charge at anti-government protesters in downtown Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Guadalupe Pardo) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Castillo, a socialist who won the presidential election in 2021, is facing charges of rebellion. Bolouarte asked Congress to hold presidential elections in April 2024.

During her speech, Bolouarte blamed the protests on “radical groups with a political and economic agenda” who benefit from “drug trafficking, illegal mining, and smuggling.” She also said “the chaos” continues to disrupt travel and business.

“That is not a peaceful protest,” Bolouarte said.

Antigovernment protesters clash with police in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Torres reported from Miami.

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About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.