The General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP), the main Peruvian trade union organization, met a nationwide strike against the government for this Thursday, January 19, ask for the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and the unicameral legislative.
The measure was announced on Monday, at a time when thousands of protesters march from different cities to Lima to support those demands which include calling for new elections to renew both powers in the country.
At the same time, important sectors of the Pan-American highway in the north of the country were blocked by protesters.
Tension in the country has not stopped growing since controversial former president Pedro Castillo attempted a coup d’état on December 7 with the announcement of the closure of Congress, the declaration of a state of emergency and the launch of a government by decree, in addition to the arrest of the country’s attorney general.
Boluarte, then vice president and co-religionist with Castillo in the left-wing communist party Peru Libre – an organization that both left after coming to power – prevented the move. The military and police also objected.
The then president, who was also facing a series of corruption charges, was singled out and immediately ousted and arrested after an attempt to seek asylum at the Mexican embassy in the Peruvian capital failed.
Supporters of the former president denounced the episode, however, as a blow against Castillo, a trade unionist teacher from the interior of the country, with no political experience, with a confused ideology and who became president in July 2021 without having a government plan.
During his troubled tenure of just over a year, Castillo consistently took over his cabinet amid stiff opposition from the legislature dominated by right-wing forces and with serious allegations of corruption among MPs.
The protests calling for the resignation of Boluarte, the call for elections and a constituent convention drafting a new Magna Carta have had a bloody balance. There are at least fifty dead in clashes with the police, hundreds injured and arrested.
It is with this argument of the victims of the protests that the powerful left-wing trade union center has called on “the working class and the Peruvian people to actively participate in the great national, civic and popular strike process of January 19, 2023”. . He adds that the motto of the strike is the request for the “resignation of Dina Boluarte and the leaders of Parliament”.
According to the latest survey by the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP), released over the weekend, 71% of those interviewed judge the Boluarte government as negative and 88% disapprove of Parliament’s conduct.
The strike was announced when the social movements that have so far encouraged the protests in the south of the country decided move tens of thousands of people to Lima for the second edition of the so-called march “de Los Cuatro Suyos”. Protesters are also calling for the release of Castillo, whose family has gone into exile in Mexico.
The march to Lima takes place at challenge the state of emergency decreed by the government this weekend in various areas of southern Peru. The ombudsman’s office said on Sunday that a man had died in a car crash linked to the protests, taking the death toll from the crisis to 50.
Boluarte, in the face of pressure against him, announced the anticipation of the elections to April next year, a decision taken in agreement with Parliament. But due to the gravity of the situation, he has given signs that this call may be brought forward.
According to analysts, among other scenarios, an early election could benefit the right-wing forces that have vexed Castillo.
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.