“It seems FIFA had everything ready for the day when there would be no World Cup matches.” Ironically, comments a man from Lima clarion he is used to the political upheaval in Peru, where the former president was arrested on Wednesday Peter Castillo after an attempted coup and which already has his successor, Dina Boluarte in charge an atypical holiday in the Peruvian capital.
The dozens of uniformed soldiers in dark suits and white hats walking along the side of Elmer Faucett Avenue might surprise you in a country that has had a coup attempt, but has nothing to do with political crisis. At 10:49 this Thursday they leave free for an extra long weekend, with lots of movement in the city.
The Thursday holiday for the day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, the Castillo government had long since annexed Friday as a tourist bridge. This reason turned Wednesday into a chaotic day for Lima’s already turbulent traffic, since many would seek out a tourist destination like the coast of Punta Hermosa for after-workday. But at midday the attempted self-coup arrived.
The streets were in chaos as many companies released their workers because they had announced a curfew which was finally not respected after the change of government. So this Thursday it was possible to drive at 60 kilometers per hour on avenues that had been blocked for two hours the day before.
Just 24 hours ago, Wednesday before noon and before a session of the Peruvian Congress where they would discuss the third vacancy motion for corruption, Pedro Castillo surprised with a recorded video announcing the dissolution of Parliament, a call for the formation elections a new legislative branch, a reorganization of the judicial branch and the imposition of a curfew.
In what may be one of the quickest frustrated coups in history, Congress removed Castillo and installed his vice president, Dina Boluarte. Peruvian media highlight this Thursday a police report indicating that Castillo tried to flee to the Mexican embassy to seek asylum and was detained there by the escort itself.
From the Jorge Chávez International Airport, tourists are warned that taxis do not leave from the centre. They point out that the area is quiet, but they do “out of caution”. Along the way, several shops have their shutters open, ceviche stalls remain, barbershops serve recliners almost to the sidewalks, and at traffic lights they offer to put silicone on all four gums for 1 sol.
Despite the holiday, the Traffic Police are maintaining checks with over 25 soldiers to check documents and seat belts, far from the political heat in Parliament. And a group of young people practice the dance of the caporales, traditional in Peru, in front of the Palace of Justice.
In the enclosed center, where after noon few people demonstrated in favor of the detained former president, newsagents offered single-issue newspapers on the cover with headlines such as “The end of a putschist”, from the newspaper The mailor “Woke up like a president and went to bed like a convict,” from Peru 21; or the harsh editorial of Business who called him dictator.
On the day indicated in the calendar for putting up the Christmas tree, find the doors of the Ministry of Transport and Communications with Christmas decorations and a few security guards. Because of the holiday, the markets don’t even open, but the first president in the history of Peru has already taken the lead and this Thursday she went to the Plaza de Armas to participate in the procession of the Immaculate Conception.
A few kilometers from the center, in the charming district of mirafloresstreet cleaners in blue clean sidewalks and curbs, tourists prepare for traditional tours, in a Lima that seems accustomed to the political upheavals through which six presidents have passed in the last six years.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.