Peru: shouted down, the president calls for “a national truce”

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P&eacute ;rou: shouted down, the president calls for “a national truce”

A police officer firing tear gas at protesters in the streets of Lima , the capital of Peru.

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte on Tuesday called for a “national truce” as another large protest in Lima calls for her departure and the dissolution of parliament.

Several thousand poor protesters, from the Andean regions and mostly in traditional dress, marched through the center of the capital with Peruvian flags and cries of Dina assassin for the 46 protesters who have died since the start of the protest.

Significant clashes took place at the start of the evening between demonstrators who were throwing stones and numerous police officers who were charging with tear gas, noted a journalist from the x27;AFP.

A protester held up a large doll holding a bloody knife, emblazoned with a photo of the interim president, who came to power after the former president was ousted in early December. President Pedro Castillo.

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte (File photo)

Ahead of this large rally, the second in Lima in a few days, Ms. Boluarte had once again tried to defuse tensions, calling on her dear homeland to a national truce to restore dialogue, set an agenda for each region and develop the country.

I will never tire of calling for dialogue, peace and unity, she added during an intervention before the foreign press, repeating almost word for word a sentence already pronounced on January 20 during a televised intervention.

I have no intention of staying in power, she repeated, assuring that she wanted to respect the Constitution and withdraw during the elections, which been advanced to 2024.

“Would my resignation solve the crisis and the violence? Who would assume the presidency of the Republic? »

— Dina Boluarte, Peruvian President

Visibly moved, Ms. Boluarte also asked forgiveness for the dead, promising investigations by the prosecution to determine the perpetrators. In particular, she assured that demonstrators had been killed by dum-dum bullets, ammunition which is not used by the police.

An intervention without effect on the demonstrators. We no longer believe his words, says Rosa Soncco, 37, from Acomayo, more than 3000 meters above sea level, in the Cuzco region, in the south of the country. There are 50 dead. How many mothers cry?

We don't believe her, because she said if Castillo resigned she would leave. We demand: one, that she resign; two, change Congress; then new elections. We want a transitional government, she says.

In the procession took part dozens of army reservists in khaki uniforms. The cursed [leaders] have trampled on us for decades, but now the people have risen, says Crispin Quispe, a reservist from the Puno region.

“We fought, hungry, cold, unpaid, and now they're trampling on us. We are ready for all fights.

— Crispin Quispe, Puno Region Reservist

The unrest began on December 7 after the impeachment and arrest of left-wing President Pedro Castillo, accused of having attempted a coup d'etat by wanting to dissolve the Parliament which was about to dissolve him. run out of power.

A protester in front of a row of riot police, Lima

Former vice-president of Mr. Castillo, with whom she had been elected on the same ticket in 2021, Ms. Boluarte stressed that she had Andean origins like him.

It suited him to make this coup in order to victimize himself and move all this paramilitary apparatus and not answer to the prosecutor for the acts of corruption of which he is accused. There are no casualties here, Mr. Castillo: there is a country bleeding because of your irresponsibility, she said again on Tuesday.

The crisis is also a reflection of the huge rift between the capital and the impoverished provinces that supported President Castillo and saw his election as revenge for what they see as Lima's contempt.

Ms. Boluarte is due to speak before the Organization of American States (OAS) on Wednesday as the international community and human rights groups criticized repression, evoking a disproportionate use of force by the police and the army, called for the maintenance of order within the framework of the state of emergency.< /p>

I will come before the OAS to tell the truth. The Peruvian government and especially Dina Boluarte have nothing to hide. Fifty people died [in addition to the deaths due to road blockages, Editor's note], it hurts me, as a woman, mother and daughter, it hurts me, she said.

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