Peru’s president paves the way for early elections after two dead in latest protests | Peru

The new president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, has announced in a nationally televised speech that she will send to Congress a proposal to advance the general elections after widespread protests.

Boluarte said early Monday morning that he would present a bill to advance the general elections by two years, to April 2024.

His decision comes after two young people were killed and four injured during protests on Sunday demanding elections following the ouster of former President Pedro Castillo for his attempt to dissolve Congress.

A 15-year-old and another 18-year-old died “possibly as a result of gunshot wounds” during clashes with the police on Sunday in the city of Andahuaylas, in the Andean region of Apurímac, reported the head of the Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office, Eliana. Revollar, she told local radio station RPP.

Baltazar Lantaron, governor of the Apurímac region, told local television Canal N that “four injuries have been reported, treated at the health center, three of them [with wounds] on the scalp, with multiple wounds.”

Thousands of protesters again took to the streets across the country on Sunday, including hundreds in Lima, the capital, where riot police used tear gas to push back protesters.

The protests that have rocked Peru have intensified particularly in rural areas, strongholds of Castillo, a former schoolteacher and newcomer to politics from a poor Andean mountain district. Protesters burned down a police station, vandalized a small airport used by the armed forces and marched through the streets.

Police clash with pro-Castillo protesters in Lima, Peru, on Sunday.
Police clash with pro-Castillo protesters in Lima, Peru, on Sunday. Photographer: Aldair Mejía/EPA

Congresswoman María Taipe Coronado said the 15-year-old boy died of an injury during the protest as she passionately called for Boluarte to resign.

“The death of this compatriot is the responsibility of Mrs. Dina for not submitting her resignation,” said Taipe, an affiliate of the party that helped Castillo and Boluarte get elected president and vice president respectively last year before both were ousted. of that party. “Since when is protesting a crime?”

“The life of no Peruvian deserves to be sacrificed for political interests,” Boluarte tweeted Sunday after Taipe’s speech in Congress. “I express my condolences for the death of a citizen in Andahuaylas. I reiterate my call for dialogue and the cessation of violence.”

Boluarte was swore in last week after Castillo was fired by Congress and arrested for attempting to shut down the legislature in an effort to avoid impeachment against him.

injured protesters
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets following the removal of Castillo, who was facing an impeachment charge. Photographer: Aldair Mejía/EPA

Protesters, many of them Castillo supporters, have for days demanded that Peru hold elections rather than allow Boluarte to remain in power until Castillo’s term officially ends in 2026. Some protesters have also called for Congress to be shut down.

The Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation, which manages the country’s airports, reported the closure of the Andahuaylas airport after attacks and acts of vandalism since Saturday.

Protesters had burned down the transmitter room, which is crucial for providing navigation services, he added.

The ombudsman’s office said on Saturday that two police officers had been held for hours by protesters in Andahuaylas, but were later released. Clashes on Saturday left 16 civilians and four police officers injured, he said.

With Reuters and Associated Press

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