At least 20 people, including four police officers, were injured on Saturday in clashes between protesters and police in the town of Andahuaylas in southern Peru, in the Andes.
The ombudsman’s office said on Twitter that it was working with medical staff to verify whether the injured had received “adequate medical treatment at the city hospital”, but did not give details of the injuries.
He said a number of people had been arrested but did not say how many.
Meanwhile, the national police reported that two police officers who had been captured by the protesters had now been released and were being examined by medical personnel.
The reason for Saturday’s protest is still unclear, but Andahuaylas is one of many towns across the country where residents took to the streets this Friday to support former President Pedro Castillo who was ousted earlier this week, according to information provided to the media by the Ministry of the Interior.
Castillo was removed from office on Wednesday after trying to dissolve the Peruvian Congress and call new elections. He was arrested for the alleged crime of rebellion and impeached by lawmakers in a single day.
Peruvian lawmakers described the move as a coup, and a majority of the 130 members of Congress voted to impeach Castillo the same day, which ended with Dina Boluarte being sworn in first place.
Peru’s new president ruled out a snap election on Thursday on her first day in office after her predecessor’s dramatic ousting and arrest.
Castillo is also currently under a seven-day provisional arrest ordered by the Supreme Court on Thursday after it deemed him a flight risk.
Castillo faced a cascade of investigations into whether he used his position to benefit himself, his family and his closest allies by peddling influence for favors or preferential treatment. , among other claims.
He has repeatedly denied all allegations and reiterated his willingness to cooperate with any investigation. He argues the allegations are the result of a witch hunt against him and his family by groups who did not accept his election victory.
The Office of the Ombudsman reiterated its “call to the population not to resort to violent means during their demonstrations” and asked the National Police that “any action aimed at restoring public order must be carried out within the framework of the law on the use of force”.