Home News two dead in demonstrations, the president advances the date of the elections

two dead in demonstrations, the president advances the date of the elections

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Under pressure from the street, Peruvian President Dina Boluarte announced in a televised message on the night of Monday, December 12, that she would introduce a bill to bring forward the elections from 2026 to April 2024 as the country is shaken by demonstrations that left two people dead during the day.

Saying to understand the “citizen’s will”Dina Boluarte, vice-president until her inauguration on December 7 after the dismissal of President Pedro Castillo, said she had decided to take the initiative for an agreement […] to advance the general elections to April 2024”after the crisis caused by Pedro Castillo’s failed attempt to dissolve Parliament.

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Dina Boluarte also declared a state of emergency in the areas most affected by the protests. “I gave instructions to regain control of the internal order and the fundamental rights of citizens”she announced.

Two people died and at least five people were injured on Sunday in Andahuaylas, a city 750 km from Lima, during growing protests in the country against the new president and the arrest of former president Pedro Castillo.

In Peru, the lessons of a failed coup

Protests have multiplied across the country, especially in cities in the north and in the Andes. Thousands of people mobilized in the streets of Cajamarca, Arequipa, Tacna, Andahuaylas, Cusco and Puno, demanding the release of the former head of state but also new elections.

Call for an “indefinite strike”

“We regret the death of two people and several injuries in clashes. I urge people to stay calm.”Interior Minister César Cervantes had declared to RPP radio, shortly after an initial report from the police reporting one dead – a teenager – and five injured.

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“The life of no Peruvian deserves to be sacrificed for political interests. I reiterate my call for dialogue and the renunciation of violence”, had launched the president on Twitter. Andahuaylas, located in the Apurimac region, is the region of origin of Dina Boluarte, qualified as “treacherous” by supporters of the ousted ex-president.

The police station in 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 to cries of “Castillo you are not alone, the people support you” and waving placards accusing “Dina [Boluarte] and Congress » to be “corrupt rats”. They were dispersed with tear gas early Sunday evening.

Lima has always turned its back on Pedro Castillo, a rural teacher and trade union leader disconnected from the elites, while he was supported by the Andean regions since the 2021 elections. Agrarian unions and peasant and indigenous social organizations called on Sunday for a “indefinite strike” from Tuesday, rejecting Congress and also demanding early elections and a new constitution.

According to the press release from the Agrarian and Rural Front of Peru, which calls for the “immediate release” by Pedro Castillo, this one “did not perpetrate a coup” when he unsuccessfully attempted to dissolve Parliament. He was arrested a few hours later by his own bodyguard on his way to the Mexican embassy to seek political asylum. He is accused of “rebellion”.

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A massive rejection from Congress

Dina Boluarte formed a government on Saturday with an independent and technical profile, with a former prosecutor, Pedro Angulo, as Prime Minister. This announcement did not calm the protests. The demand for new elections is associated with a massive rejection of Congress: according to November polls, 86% of Peruvians disapprove of Parliament.

At the same time, the theory, put forward by the former chief of staff and Pedro Castillo’s lawyer, according to which the former president was drugged without his knowledge during his failed coup attempt, fascinates the country.

In a letter he allegedly wrote in prison, Pedro Castillo assures that a doctor and nurses “camouflaged” and a prosecutor ” without a face “ [cagoulé] have it ” strength “ to take blood samples, evoking a “machiavellian plan”. The president of the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Francisco Brizuela, indicated that the former president had “refused to submit” to testing.

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