Thousands of protesters join the ‘taking of Lima’ while the Government entrenches itself, calls for “calm” and says it will remain “firm”
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of the Peruvian capital, Lima, to demand the resignation of the president, Dina Boluarte, in what has led to a pitched battle between protesters and police. All this after dozens of caravans of peasants from regions across the country arrived in the city in recent days to join the great national strike that is demanding elections in the country.
A month and a half after the outbreak of the social crisis in which Peru is immersed, a state of emergency for 30 days since Sunday, and a balance of deaths that since December 7 exceeds the figure of 50 dead, the strike celebrated a day of protests marked by the strong police deployment of more than 11,000 security agents. In the desperation of the Government to avoid the lack of control of public order, they have resorted, even to the Armed Forces.
Despite the fact that the authorities had asked for calm – the president herself appealed last Monday to the citizens to carry out the “Takeover of Lima” “in peace” – there have been harsh clashes between the protesters and the security forces in various points of the city, with the burning of street furniture, the closure of part of public transport and the launching of tear gas by the Police in an effort to calm down the riots.
“Where are you, damn it? Dina, murderess!” They shouted in the Plaza de San Martín, the epicenter of the anti-government protests and from where the march was to leave for Congress. At least ten teams from the Lima Fire Department went to extinguish the fire in an office building located in said square, near the Palace of Justice, as reported by the RPP radio station. A group of neighbors affirmed that the incident was caused by a tear gas bomb that fell on the roof, although the Government later denied it.
The Ministry of Defense had already issued a warning against the possible takeover of public and private institutions, such as the Lima Drinking Water and Sewerage Service or television antennas. In the midst of the protest, President Dina Boluarte gave a message to the nation. She charged against the protesters and remarked: “Some bad citizens who seek to break the rule of law, generate chaos, disorder and take power.” She assured that “the government is firm and its cabinet is more united than ever.” She ruled out her resignation entirely.
The Peruvian National Police (PNP) has denounced attacks against law enforcement as well as the destruction of public and private property, which is why it would have proceeded to the “legal use of force.” According to the latest report, 22 police officers and 16 civilians were injured in clashes in the marches in Lima as well as in other parts of the country during this last day of protests, according to ‘La República’.
“Despite the serious attacks that our Police have suffered and continue to suffer, they have not fallen for provocation and have responded to these attacks with firmness, professionalism and prudence and will continue to do so all these days to come and that we have these marches,” he said. expressed by the Prime Minister of Peru, Alberto Otárola, in a televised message. Otárola has assured that the Government “is in command of the situation and is caring for the fundamental rights of citizens.”
The protesters’ pulse against the president keeps Boluarte at a crossroads. In Parliament, the possibility of advancing the presidential elections to April 2024 is being discussed, a date that is not happy with the majority of the country, which prefers that they be held this year.
#Pitched #battle #Peru #protests #demand #fall #President #Boluarte