May 30, 2023

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Peru: Protests erupt against new president

Protests intensified in Peru on Sunday, with demonstrations calling for the release of the former head of state and a national strike against new elections and new President Tina Polwart.

The rallies, which took place in several cities north and south of the Andes for a fourth day, demand the resignation of Ms. Polvard and new elections after a failed coup and the arrest of former president Pedro Castillo. liberation

According to images broadcast by local TV channels, thousands of people took to the streets of Cajamarca, Arequipa, Dagna, Antahuilas, Cusco and Puno.

Violent clashes between demonstrators and police resumed in Andahuelas, where 20 people were injured (16 civilians and 4 police officers) during protests on Saturday.

Agricultural unions and peasant and indigenous social organizations have called for an “indefinite strike” on Sunday, rejecting Congress and demanding early elections and a new constitution, according to a statement from Peru’s Agrarian and Rural Front.

Mr. The group, which is calling for the “immediate release” of Castillo, believes he “didn’t commit a coup” when he tried to dissolve parliament and impose a state of emergency.

In Lima, the left-wing Peru Libre party called for a protest Sunday afternoon from the historic San Martin square, the center of political protests in Peru.

While he has been backed by Andean regions since the 2021 elections, Lima has always backed Castillo, a rural teacher and union leader cut off from the elite.

For its part, the Right-dominated Congress announced that it would meet on Sunday afternoon to review the situation.

Castillo was arrested by his bodyguard on his way to the Mexican embassy to seek political asylum. He was accused of “rebellion”.

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– Jail Letter –

Ms Poluarte, who was vice president until taking office on Wednesday after the impeachment of Pedro Castillo, formed a government on Saturday with an independent and technical profile, with former prosecutor Pedro Angulo as prime minister.

“So far, the president has been unclear on the big question: Is this a transitional government or a government that wants to last until 2026?” Political analyst Giovanna Penaflor.

“He must be clear that his role is to allow new general elections. This presents a certain stability that will not allow this government to end like the previous regime,” he added.

The demand for new elections is related to the overwhelming rejection of Congress: according to a November poll, 86% of Peruvians disapprove of Parliament.

On Friday, Ms Bolyard did not rule out calling early elections to find a peaceful way out of the political crisis. He urged people to remain calm.

Meanwhile, the theory put forward by Mr. Castillo’s lawyer, former chief secretary and Mr. Castillo’s lawyer, that the former president was unknowingly intoxicated during the failed coup attempt, has stirred up the nation.

Mr. In a letter that Castillo allegedly wrote in prison, he asserts that “hidden” doctors and nurses and a “faceless” (hooded) prosecutor “forced” him to take blood samples without his consent on Fridays and Saturdays.

Mr. According to Castillo, he refused to cooperate out of fear for his safety and hinted that the toxicology test was part of a “Machiavellian plan” by the president, the attorney general and Congress.

Francisco Brizuela, president of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, confirmed that the former president “refused to submit a blood test and a urine sample, so the test (to detect his drug use) cannot be carried out.” . He said Mr Castillo had refused a “psychological and psychiatric examination”.

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