Following the ouster of former Peru President Pedro Castillo, police and local authorities have reported the deaths of two teens and the injuries of four others. Dina Boluarte was sworn in as president last week following the resignation of President Castillo by Congress and his arrest to dissolve the legislature to avoid impeachment proceedings. Recently, demonstrations, many of which were organized by Castillo supporters, have called for the holding of elections in Peru rather than allowing Boluarte to remain in power until Castillo’s term is over in 2026.
A police clash with protesters in Peru has resulted in the death of at least two people who were calling for new elections and the release of former President Pedro Castillo, who is still in detention. Protests against Castillo’s impeachment caused the deaths on Sunday.#Peru pic.twitter.com/SdRuu0TO3m
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) December 12, 2022
Additionally, some protesters have called for the shuttering of Congress. In an interview with local radio station RPP, Peru’s Ombudsman Eliana Revollar explained that two fifteen- and eighteen-year-olds died during clashes with police in Andahuaylas, in the Apurimac region in the Andes, “possibly as a consequence of gunshot wounds.” In a statement to local television station Canal N, Baltazar Lantaron, governor of the Apurimac region, said, “four injuries have been reported, being treated at the health center, three of which are scalp wounds with multiple injuries.”
Following attacks and acts of vandalism, the Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation has closed Andahuaylas airport. Besides setting fire to the transmitter room, protesters also destroyed the instrument room, which is crucial to navigation. In Andahuaylas, two police officers were held by protesters for hours before being released on Saturday, the Ombudsman’s office reported. The police report said 16 civilians and four policemen were injured in the clashes on Saturday.
Officials Shut Down Andahuaylas Airport amid Deadly Protests
Authorities in Peru have announced the closure of an airport following violent protests that have claimed two lives. The Andahuaylas airport in the country’s south was seen to be erupting in smoke in photos posted on social media sites. Demonstrators surrounded fifty police officers and workers at the airport, the transport ministry stated. President Pedro Castillo’s impeachment has continued to spark protests in Lima.
BBC reported that during the demonstrations in the city on Sunday, police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators. The Peruvian aviation industry association, Corpac, part of the Ministry of Transport, has reported attacks, vandalism, and fires have been started at the Andahuaylas airport since Saturday afternoon. A report said that 50 airport employees and police officers had surrounded the terminal, and some hostages had been taken.
One officer was injured after the national police, along with state police, went to the airport with state police. In a statement, police confirmed that one protester had died and stated that they were taking crucial steps to clarify the circumstances surrounding the death. In addition, an adolescent has been reported as having been killed by Peru’s Ombudsman.
Later, Interior Minister César Cervantes reported the death of a second individual residing in the unrest/seclusion zone surrounding Andahuaylas. Recently, both the police and the Ombudsman have issued appeals for an end to violence. In Lima on Thursday and Friday, hundreds of people participated in a protest demanding Castillo’s release and Dina Boluarte’s resignation.
In Andahuaylas on Saturday, more than 3,000 people protested. State media reported that some entered a police station and tried to storm it. Several protesters and four police officers were injured during marches in the city. Throughout the southern region of the country, Castillo was widely supported.
Peru’s Leader Ousted over Rebellion Attempt
Currently, Pedro Castillo is in police custody on charges of rebellion, likely a charge of terrorism. The opposition-controlled Congress was about to impeach him, and he dissolved the legislative body. His bodyguards prevented him from seeking refuge in an embassy after Congress voted overwhelmingly to remove him from office. The new president, Dina Boluarte, was sworn in within hours of impeaching Castillo. In her role as Peru’s first female president, Boluarte has made history. She said she would govern by July 2026, which would have been the end of Castillo’s term.
On Wednesday, Boluarte distanced herself from Castillo after he attempted to dissolve Congress, a move she called an “attempt at a coup.” In the 2021 election, Boluarte ran alongside Castillo. In the 2021 election, Boluarte ran alongside Castillo. She asked for a “truce” to fight corruption upon being sworn in so Peruvians could come together for “national unity.” Police had already taken her predecessor into custody when she took the oath. Several of his allies abandoned him following his nervous televised announcement, during which his script shook.
In a statement, the constitutional court’s chairman said Castillo had violated the constitution by dissolving Congress. The defense minister was among the ministers who resigned within minutes of the announcement. Police and military officials issued a joint statement voicing their commitment to the constitution. An SUV was waiting for Castillo and his family outside the presidential palace as they left the palace. According to the police report, he was supposedly seeking political asylum from Mexico at the embassy in Lima.
Dramatic End of Presidency
Castillo’s presidency has been difficult even by Peru’s standards, where three presidents occupied office within five days in 2020. After narrowly defeating his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori in June 2021, the left-wing former teacher became president. Although he attended official events wearing a wide-brimmed hat, the 53-year-old, who lacked political experience, soon appeared out of his depth. Throughout his 18 months in office, his cabinet changed constantly, and he had five prime ministers.
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