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Lima (AFP) – Shouting “Castillo out, out!”, thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Lima this Saturday to demand the resignation of leftist president Pedro Castillo, who is under an unprecedented framework of six investigations for alleged corruption.
Opponents of the Castillo government walked the streets of the historic center until they reached 100 meters from Congress where dozens of riot police prevented the protesters from reaching Parliament and the government palace with tear gas.
“I come to the march to get rid of that corrupt man. Castillo must go out, that’s what this march is for to get him out,” Nancy Huarcaya, who was wearing a Peruvian national team shirt, told AFP.
The demonstrators belonging to political groups and civil associations carried signs that read “Castillo out”, “Castillo corrupt” and “Vacancia ya”. The march was called by the organizers “Reacciona Perú”.
The opposition denounces a situation of corruption and economic stagnation
“We are here representing millions of Peruvians. Peru can no longer take it. We are on the brink of a precipice, economically everything has stagnated,” Carola Suarez, holding a Peruvian flag, told AFP.
Similar mobilizations called by political groups and civil associations were carried out in the cities of Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo (north) and Cusco and Arequipa (south).
“Castillo out. We are outraged by so much corruption,” were some of the shouts that were chanted at the demonstration.
The Ombudsman’s Office requested on Twitter the “police to make rational and strictly necessary use of tear gas, to avoid affecting the health of the people who mobilize.”
“I fight for my country. The march has been peaceful. They don’t have to attack us that way, we are the people,” Martha, a lawyer, who was affected by the gases thrown by the police, told AFP.
The mobilizations take place 15 days after the arrival of a high-level Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS) to analyze the acute political crisis in Peru.
In parallel, a mobilization of groups and unions marched in support of the president in the San Martín square in Lima.
Castillo, in power since July 2021 for a five-year term, has had to face two impeachment attempts by Congress -dominated by the opposition-, and respond to six tax investigations for alleged corruption of him and his family circle and closest politician.
The Prosecutor’s Office formally denounced Castillo before Parliament on October 11 for alleged corruption, a process that can lead to a political trial and the suspension of the president.
“They will have me until the last day of my mandate because my people have decided so,” Castillo said Saturday morning at an activity at the government palace.
Castillo, a 53-year-old rural teacher, denies that his family has committed crimes and says he is the victim of a campaign to remove him from power.
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