Football looms as a distraction from the high political tensions in Peru, while the new president Dina Bolartewhich took the place of Peter Castillo –fired and detained over a coup attempt – he promised to appoint his cabinet this Saturday, after intense meetings with the opposition.
Many Lima residents seem so used to political crises that they are expressing enthusiasm for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, even if they didn’t qualify.
The news on Lima’s radios begins with the latest political news, both from the Boluarte government and from the judicial bodies of Castillo, detained since Wednesday, after a short-lived self-coup attempt that lasted two hours and ended in a quick sacking.
But the truth is that the news with the World Cup match schedules, the statements of Lionel Messi and Neymar dominate the news.
Although it is an extra-long holiday for the day of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin and a weekend of Friday to promote tourism -as in Argentina-, many people in Lima who have to work do not take their eyes off their cell phones where Friday at 10 tomorrow, now of Peru, Brazil started play against Croatia.
At the time of the match they walk the streets of Lima wearing the jerseys of the Peruvian team.
“I want Messi to win, but we are Latin Americans here, we want everyone to come from South America,” said Manuel, manager of a bar in Lima where the television is fixed to a sports channel and the chairs form an amphitheater waiting for the games. .
Radio broadcasts of matches arrive at full volume from the cars, headphones are worn in the buses and passengers with their heads bowed pay attention to their mobile phones. Both Brazil and Argentina not only played full 90 minutes, but both games featured extra time and penalties, which attracted even more attention from the Peruvians who put the crisis aside for a while.
The Congress, between crisis and football
The brotherhood of Peruvians towards Argentina was also noted in the Government Palace, where the tension to form a government had a brief lull.
the deputy Susan Paredes, LGBT + activist, who belonged to Francisco Sagasti’s Purple Party, resigned and is now part of an independent college, was summoned to speak with the new president and her dialogue with the press was interrupted by a cry of goals. “Criminal? Whose? Argentina? Fantastic,” Paredes said to the laughter of the press.
Another protagonist of a moment of relaxation was the deputy Carl Andersonwhich belonged to the right-wing ‘Podemos Peru’ party and is now independent. “How did the Argentina match end? Is Argentina winning? This is the most important thing of the day,” Anderson summed up.
Even the defenders of former president Pedro Castillo are crossed by the World Cup. Before receiving tear gas from the police during demonstrations in the center of the capital on Thursday, they announced that they would march on Friday after the match in Argentina.
“They are underestimating us, they think we will be stuck at the World Cup. No, comrades, people from the provinces will answer, we will meet here (Plaza San Martín), at 5pm, after the game,” Andrés stressed on Thursday when night fell in downtown Lima.
Clashes in Lima
On a Friday marked by roadblocks, especially in the south of the country, a small group of demonstrators defending the former president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, staged a violent confrontation with the police before reaching the Congress, where they are trying to their proclamations of the resignation of the new president Dina Boluarte, the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of elections.
For the third consecutive day, they protested and encouraged each other with the hope of the arrival of more demonstrators from within who have not yet shown up in Lima and are waiting for them on Monday.
After the clash with the security forces, two policemen were injured by stones and four people were arrested.
They had claimed that the World Cup in Qatar would not cover their protest and waited for the end of the penalties between Argentina and the Netherlands to gather in the Plaza San Martín and from there march towards the Congress.
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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.