Peru declares state of emergency in Lima over protests

Protests against President Boluarte have taken place since Castillo was removed from office in December and detained.

Peru’s government has declared a state of emergency in the capital Lima and three other regions following protests which have killed at least 42 in recent weeks.

The measure, announced late on Saturday and in force for 30 days, authorises the army to intervene to maintain order and suspends several constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly.

Protests against President Dina Boluarte have gripped the South American nation since leftist former President Pedro Castillo was removed from office in December and detained after he tried to illegally dissolve Congress.

He was replaced in the president’s position by Boluarte, who was vice president.

Castillo supporters have marched and barricaded streets around the country for weeks, demanding that new elections be held and for Boluarte to step down.

Riot police clash with anti-government protesters
Demonstrators assist a man injured during protests near the Juliaca airport in Peru [Hugo Courotto/Reuters]

On Thursday, authorities closed air and rail links to Peru’s famed Machu Picchu tourist site as protests flared up, leading to clashes between police and protesters.

While Boluarte has apologised for the violence, on Friday the 60-year-old insisted she would not resign amid the turmoil, and rejected the possibility of calling a constitutional assembly as demanded by protesters – pointing to the difficulties Peru’s neighbour Chile has had in drafting and approving a new constitution.

Castillo, who was being investigated in several fraud cases during his tenure, has been remanded in custody for 18 months, charged with rebellion.

Peru has been riddled with political instability in recent years. Boluarte, 60, is the sixth person to hold the presidency in five years.

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