Lima. Demonstrations against the government of Peruvian President Dina Boluarte have reached the tourist city of Cusco, where violent clashes broke out on Wednesday. So far 47 people have lost their lives in these protests that started a month ago. Health officials in Cusco said 16 civilians and six police officers were injured in clashes after protesters tried to take over the city’s airport.
Many foreign tourists were also present on the occasion. In Peru’s 41 provinces, people demonstrated and blocked roads against Bolvarte and in support of ousted President Pedro Castillo. Demonstrations have been ongoing since early December following Castillo’s ouster and arrest. The protests are mainly taking place in some of the country’s rural areas, where people still hold allegiance to Castillo. They are calling for immediate elections, the resignation of Boluaarte, the release of Castillo and justice for protesters killed in clashes with police.
The worst violence so far occurred on Monday near Lake Titicaca in the city of Juliaca, where 17 people were killed in clashes with police. A police officer was burnt alive in the violence. According to Peru’s ombudsman’s office, 39 civilians have so far been killed in clashes with police, while seven others have died in accidents during roadblocks. The Peruvian government has announced a three-day curfew in Puno from 8 pm to 4 am.
In Puno, people were seen walking with coffins carrying the bodies of 17 people killed in the violence. Meanwhile, a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has arrived in Peru to investigate the protests and the police response. Castillo’s successor, Dina Boluarte, has supported the plan to hold elections in 2024 for the presidency and parliament, which are scheduled for 2026. He has also supported a judicial inquiry into the use of excessive force by the security forces.
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