Peru president calls for ‘truce’ as protests rage
Peru’s President, Dina Boluarte, has called for a “national truce” after protests that have rocked the country since her predecessor, Pedro Castillo, was ousted on 7 December.
Following her speech, thousands of people marched in the capital, Lima, demanding she resign.
Ms Boluarte was sworn in after Mr Castillo was impeached following his failed attempt to dissolve Congress.
More than 50 people have died in the subsequent unrest.
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Hours after Ms Boluarte called for dialogue and urged calm, thousands of protesters clashed with police who fired tear gas. Some protesters threw rocks at the security forces.
There were shouts of “Boluarte, murderer”, referring to the dozens of Peruvians who have been killed in confrontations with the police.
In her speech, President Boluarte said “radical groups with a political and economic agenda rooted in drug trafficking, illegal mining and smuggling” had incited Peruvians to protest.
She added that she supported the right to protest but rejected violence: “I, too, have marched as part of just fights for labour and student rights, but protests can’t be accompanied by violence, destruction and death.”
The president also alleged that many of those who had died had not been shot by police but by fellow demonstrators.
“The deaths occurred not where police were but in nearby streets,” she said.
However, Peru’s ombudsman has said that of the 56 people who have died in the unrest, 46 people were killed in direct clashes with the security forces. —BBC