news Peru erupts in violent protests as anger over political crisis ignites
LIMA (Reuters) – Protests have exploded in Peru, killing at least seven people in the past week alone, as the country continues its political crisis, with fire and teargas fumes filling the streets. ing. The exit looks far away.
The current uproar was sparked by the ouster and arrest of leftist leader Pedro Castillo, who illegally tried to dissolve Congress. It followed his month-long stalemate in which lawmakers impeached him three times and removed him from office on his last one.
Peru is one of Latin America’s economic stars of the 21st century, with strong growth lifting millions out of poverty. But political turmoil is increasingly threatening economic stability. Protesters demand the resignation of two copper producers, parliament and new president Dina Volarte.
For those with a close eye, it’s a bit surprising. Voters are fed up with the constant political infighting that has seen his six presidents and seven impeachment attempts over the past five years.
A deeply divided unicameral parliament is frowned upon, with just 11% support, according to pollster Datum. That’s below Castillo’s 24% right before he was fired, despite a string of corruption allegations.
“The Peruvian people are just exhausted by all the political intrigue, crime, uncertainty and stalling growth,” said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the American Council and American Society. .
He said Borarte’s pledge to hold early elections in April 2024 may help calm things down in the short term, but it’s a deep-seated problem of voter divisions and infighting between the president and Congress. said that it would not solve the
“It’s a toxic soup, with a weak president, a dysfunctional Congress, a deposed president trying to create popular resistance to legal removal, a distraught public, and little vision of how to get out of this mess.” .
Peru’s constitution makes it relatively easy for an ill-fated parliament to initiate impeachment, but the lack of a dominant political party, with the largest popular force holding only 24 of the 130 seats, leaves little consensus. Corruption is also a frequent problem.
The only way many Peruvians feel they can make their voice heard is in the streets. In recent days, protesters have blocked roads, set fires and even occupied airports. Police have been criticized by human rights groups for using firearms and tear gas. Seven of his people, mostly teenagers, died while on vacation.
2020 sees echoes of protests as thousands take to the streets after the impeachment and ouster of popular centrist leader Martín Vizcarra, who was succeeded by Congress leader Manuel Merino . He too was forced to resign after two people died.
Mr. Castillo, though less popular, has a rural base that helped him to a narrow victory in last year’s election, but he remains in prison while being investigated for mutiny and conspiracy charges. I’m trying to stimulate things from
On Monday, he called former vice-president Boruarte “a usurper” in a letter to the people of Peru, claiming he is still the country’s rightful leader.
“What has been said recently by extortionists is nothing more than the same snot and drool of the right to foment a coup,” he wrote, adding a call for a new constitution long popular among Peru’s younger generation. .
“People shouldn’t be fooled by the dirty game of the new elections. Enough of the abuses! The Constituent Assembly is now! Instant freedom!” he wrote.
A former member of Castillo’s far-left party, who criticized Castillo for falling out with the party leader and trying to dissolve parliament, Boruarte called for equanimity throughout the country and promised all kinds of government. But she faces a harsh reality, sandwiched between protesters and a hostile Congress.
Given Peru’s leader’s recent history, which is littered with impeachments and imprisonments, it’s questionable whether Boruarte can hold out until new elections are held.
“Dina Voluarte is a murderer. Five people died, they say nothing. Nothing to do with her. She is shameless and a traitor,” said a Peruvian flag and helmet in Lima. Guadalupe Waman, a Castillo supporter who has protested, said.
Downgrading Peru’s outlook to negative and fears of a potential downgrade, rating agency S&P said in a report on Monday that there appeared to be little to hope for.
“Peru’s recent regime change reflects a heightened political impasse that raises risks going forward,” it said.
Farnsworth expressed similar concerns. Peru has had a history of political instability, but it is unclear how the situation will be resolved, he said.
“I think something will be different this time,” he said. “Apparently there is no real way.”
Reporting by Marco Aquino and Adam Jordan, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien
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