Two dead in protests in Peru, the president announces elections in 2024 – RT in French
Dina Boluarte took the floor at night to announce that an early ballot would take place from 2024, and proclaimed a state of emergency in the regions most affected by the demonstrations demanding the release of ex-president Pedro Castillo.
Under pressure from the street, Peruvian President Dina Boluarte announced, in a televised message broadcast on the night of December 11 to 12, that she was going to present a bill to bring forward the elections from 2026 to April 2024, while that the country is shaken by demonstrations which left two dead over the weekend. The country has been plunged into instability since the country’s parliament, dominated by the opposition, voted on December 7 to dismiss left-wing president Pedro Castillo, after the head of state announced his dissolution and the establishment of the state of emergency.
Saying that she understood the “will of the citizens”, Dina Boluarte, who held the position of vice-president until her investiture on December 7, said that she had “decided to take the initiative for an agreement […] to advance the general elections to April 2024”.
Dina Boluarte also announced the proclamation of a state of emergency in the areas most affected by the demonstrations. “I gave instructions to regain control of the internal order and the fundamental rights of citizens,” she said.
The life of no Peruvian deserves to be sacrificed for political interests
Two people died and at least five people were injured on December 11 in Andahuaylas, a town 750 km from the capital Lima, during growing protests in the country against Dina Boluarte and the arrest of the former president. Protests have multiplied across the country, especially in cities in the North and the Andes. Thousands of people thus mobilized in the streets of Cajamarca, Arequipa, Tacna, Andahuaylas, Cusco and Puno, demanding the release of the former head of state and new elections.
“We regret the death of two people and several injured in clashes. I urge the population to remain calm,” Interior Minister César Cervantes told RPP radio, shortly after an initial police report reporting one dead – a teenage girl – and five injured. “The life of no Peruvian deserves to be sacrificed for political interests. I reiterate my call for dialogue and the renunciation of violence”, launched the president on Twitter.
On December 10, clashes in Andahuaylas (south) resulted in 20 injured (16 civilians and 4 policemen). The violence resumed the next day, with exchanges of tear gas and stone throwing between police and demonstrators. Andahuaylas, located in the Apurimac region, is the region of origin of Dina Boluarte, described as “treacherous” by supporters of the deposed ex-president. In addition, the police station of Huancabamba, a town in Apurimac, was set on fire, according to RPP radio.
In Lima, between 1,000 and 2,000 people demonstrated in front of Congress on December 11 shouting “Castillo you are not alone, the people support you” and waving signs accusing Dina Boluarte and the Congress of being ” corrupt rats”, before being dispersed with tear gas. The capital has always been less favorable to Pedro Castillo, a rural teacher and union leader far from the elites, while he was supported by the Andean regions since the 2021 elections.
Unlimited strike from December 13
Agrarian unions, as well as peasant and indigenous social organizations, have called for an “indefinite strike” from December 13, rejecting the Congress and demanding early elections as well as a new Constitution. According to the communiqué of the Agrarian and Rural Front of Peru, which calls for the “immediate release” of Pedro Castillo, the latter “did not perpetrate a coup” when he unsuccessfully tried to dissolve Parliament on December 7 .
The latter had been arrested a few hours later by his own bodyguard when he went to the Mexican Embassy to request political asylum. He is accused of “rebellion”.
Dina Boluarte formed a government on December 10 presented as independent and “technical”, with former prosecutor Pedro Angulo as Prime Minister, an announcement that did not calm the demonstrators. The demand for new elections is associated with a massive rejection of Congress, since, according to November polls, 86% of Peruvians disapprove of Parliament.
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