Peru’s Prime Minister, Alberto Otárola, and other cabinet members were received this Tuesday in the plenary session of Congress with shouts of “assassins” and calls for resignations from left-wing lawmakers, after a day of violent protests in south of the country which left at least 17 people dead
The protests against the president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, who has already left 40 dead in one month, They continued this Tuesday with roadblocks in six regions of the country as the new cabinet travels to Congress to ask for a vote of confidence in its investiture.
Otárola entered the Peruvian Parliament shortly after noon, where she planned to present the general lines of her management and ask the parliamentarians for a vote of confidence, as established by Peruvian law.
But, shortly after his entry, a dozen deputies they scolded him until they let him out of the room and the temporary suspension of the plenary session.
MPs shouted and displayed placards with slogans such as “resign, assassins”, “stop militarisation”, “cabinet of death” and “not one more dead”.
In the center of the hall, deputies from left-wing groups, the most critical of President Boluarte’s administration, placed a black flag with photographs of some of the demonstrators who died in the protests demanding the president’s resignation, the closure of Congress , early elections in 2023 and a new Constitution, among other demands.
marches and pickets
The epicenter of the protests is now the Aymara region of Puno, on the border with Bolivia, where there have been looting of business premises and attacks on police vehicles between Monday night and early Tuesday morning resulting in 18 deaths.
The indignation grows in the cities of Puno and Juliaca, in the south of the country, which have been on strike for a week and with businesses closed.
The Superintendency of Land Transportation of People, Goods and Goods reported 53 sections of highways with traffic interrupted by pickets in six regions: Puno, Cusco, Apurímac, Arequipa, Madre de Dios and Amazonas.
In the southern Andean region of Ayacucho, thousands of people marched through the streets of the city of Huamanga to demand the resignation of Dina Boluarte.
The violent crackdown by the police caused 14 deaths on Monday in repelling an attempted occupation of Juliaca airport, three died during a looting of a shopping center and one person was burned to death. The authorities are investigating whether it is a policeman or a civilian in this city located 1,300 km south of Lima.
The government said the decisive action by the police and military guarding the airport was in response to “a coup” staged by thousands of protesters.
“Today more than 9,000 people approached the Juliaca airport and about 2,000 of them began an all-out attack against police and facilities, using improvised weapons (improvised weapons) and double charges of gunpowder, creating a extreme situation”. chief of staff Alberto Otárola told the press on Monday evening.
The Catholic Church, the majority religion in Peru, has described the climate of violence in the south of the country as a “situation of war”.
“The truth is that we are in the hands of barbarism. The confrontation between brothers and sisters is much more painful, because we are part of a single society, a Peruvian family,” Cardinal and Archbishop of Huancayo, Pedro Barreto, told RPP radio. .
“The population wants peace, they want justice, they want fraternity, they want to put conflicts aside and there I think we must all invoke calm, serenity,” said the Jesuit priest, appointed cardinal by Pope Francis.
For its part, the regional government of Puno decreed this Tuesday three days of mourning for the deaths registered in the last few hours and asked for the resignation of the president.
In this context, Peru will receive a mission from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on Wednesday, which has come to find out about the demonstrations that have rocked the country since the impeachment and arrest of former president Pedro Castillo, and about the police response.
According to the government, the former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, is linked to the protests. That’s why he was banned from entering Peru until further notice.
Morales, who presided over Bolivia between 2006 and 2019, has been an active presence in Peruvian politics since Castillo, a former teachers’ union leader, assumed Peru’s presidency in July 2021, until his removal on December 7. In November, Morales visited Puno.
In the midst of protests in various regions of the country, the head of the cabinet, Alberto Otárola, and his ministers appeared before Congress on Tuesday to request a vote of confidence for the investiture, a constitutional requirement to remain in office.
The chief of staff had to explain the general policy of the government and the main measures requested by its leadership before the plenary session of the Congress, controlled by the right-wing opposition.
Otárola is President Boluarte’s second chief of staff and took office on December 21.
Dina Boluarte served as vice president until December 7, when Congress removed Castillo after the then president attempted to shut down parliament, intervene in the judicial system and rule by decree.
The former president, under investigation for corruption, is serving 18 months of preventive detention issued by a judge on charges of rebellion.
Though she considers herself a leftist, Boluarte is seen as a “traitor” by the communities and militants who support Castillo. Sectors of the right who previously promoted her downfall now support her.
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.