Photos: Peruvian police raid major university as protests grow

Police have raided Peru’s most important public university in Lima to evict protesters who had taken shelter on the campus while participating in big demonstrations.

More than 100 people were detained on Saturday, interior minister Vicente Romero said.

Hundreds of protesters congregated outside the law enforcement offices where the detainees were being held on Saturday evening, chanting “Freedom” and “We’re students, not terrorists.” More congregated at other points of downtown Lima.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed “concern over the police incursion, eviction and massive detentions” at the National University of San Marcos and urged the state to “guarantee the integrity and due process of all people”.

The university issued a news release saying the police raid took place after protesters “assaulted” security personnel.

Until recently, the protests had been concentrated in the country’s south. They began last month after then-President Pedro Castillo, Peru’s first leader with a rural Andean background, was impeached and imprisoned for trying to dissolve Congress.

Peru also indefinitely shut down the famed ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in the latest sign that anti-government protests that began last month are increasingly engulfing the South American country.

The culture ministry said it closed the country’s most famous tourist attraction as well as the Inca Trail leading up to the site “to protect the safety of tourists and the population in general”.

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