Peru declares state of emergency in Lima over protests
LIMA — Peru’s government late Saturday declared a state of emergency in the capital Lima and three other regions due to protests against President Dina Boluarte that have claimed at least 42 lives in recent weeks.
The measure, in force for 30 days, authorizes the army to intervene to maintain order and suspends several constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly, according to a decree published in the official gazette.
In addition to the capital, the state of emergency covers the regions of Cusco and Puno and the port of Callao, adjacent to Lima.
More than 100 roadblocks blocked traffic across Peru on Saturday, mainly in the south, which has been the epicenter of the protests, and also around Lima.
Authorities have, however, reopened Cusco international airport, which is vital to Peru’s tourism sector.
The mass anti-government demonstrations first broke out in early December, after then-president Pedro Castillo was ousted from office for attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, seeking to prevent an impeachment vote against him.
Castillo’s supporters have marched and barricaded streets around the South American country demanding new elections and the removal of current leader Boluarte.
President Boluarte, who is from the same left-wing party as Castillo, has insisted she will not step down.
Peru has faced political instability in recent years, with Boluarte, 60, the sixth person to hold the presidency in five years.
Castillo, who was being investigated in several fraud cases during his tenure, has been remanded in custody for 18 months, charged with rebellion.
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