July 14, 2024
Protesters have taken to the streets and blocked roads across Peru - Lucas Aguayo Araos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Protesters have taken to the streets and blocked roads across Peru – Lucas Aguayo Araos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

Peru’s capital Lima and the tourist hotspot of Cusco have been placed under a state of emergency, as the government responds to deadly anti-government protests.

The state of emergency, in force for 30 days, authorises the army to intervene to maintain order and suspends several constitutional rights, such as freedom of movement and assembly, according to a decree published in the official gazette.

It covers Lima and the regions of Cusco and Puno, as well as the port of Callao adjacent to the capital.

Supporters of ousted president Pedro Castillo have taken to the streets and blocked roads across the South American country since December, demanding fresh elections and the removal of Dina Boluarte, who has refused to step down. At least 42 people have been killed in the clashes

Protests have been announced for Monday in Lima, as well as the marginalised southern Andean regions, which have been the epicentre of the unrest.

Family attend the burial of a student who died in protests - JUAN CARLOS CISNEROS/AFP
Family attend the burial of a student who died in protests – JUAN CARLOS CISNEROS/AFP

Some groups of protesters from the south plan to travel to Lima for a “takeover of the city”.

“We have the decision to go to Lima [from Monday], yes or yes,” said Julio Vilca, a protest leader from the province of Ilave, in the Puno region. “We cannot indicate the time, because what we want is to travel in unity.”

More than 100 protest roadblocks were in place across Peru on Saturday.

The airport in Cusco, the gateway to the famed Machu Picchu site, reopened on Saturday after being shut on Thursday, the second time it had been closed due to the protests.

Trains to Machu Picchu were still suspended, and local unions say tourism workers are losing out on up to seven million sols (£1.5 million) a day due to the crisis.

The mass anti-government demonstrations first broke out in early December, after Mr Castillo was ousted from office for attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, seeking to prevent an impeachment vote against him.

Protester in Peru - Lucas Aguayo Araos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Protester in Peru – Lucas Aguayo Araos/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Peru has been politically unstable in recent years, with 60-year-old Ms Boluarte becominf the sixth person to hold the presidency in five years.

Mr Castillo, who was being investigated in several fraud cases during his tenure, has been remanded in custody for 18 months, charged with rebellion.

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