Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Peru President Boluarte Proposes Moving up Elections as Protests Grow

Many of those demonstrating are demanding release from custody of Pedro Castillo, the Centre-Left president ousted on Wednesday.

Police trying to break up supporters of ousted President Pedro Castillo at plaza San Martin in Lima, Peru, Sunday

Police trying to break up supporters of ousted President Pedro Castillo at plaza San Martin in Lima, Peru, Sunday. Image Courtesy: Martin Mejia/AP

Lima (Peru): Peru's newest president, Dina Boluarte gave in to protesters' demands early on Monday announcing in a nationally televised address that she will send Congress a proposal to move up elections.

Boluarte's decision came after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets around Peru for another day on Sunday to demand that she resign and schedule elections to replace her and Congress.

The protests turned deadly, with at least two reported deaths in a remote community in the Andes, according to officials.

Boluarte said she will propose the scheduling of general elections for April 2024.

Many of those demonstrating in the ongoing political crisis are demanding the release from custody of Pedro Castillo, the Centre-Left president ousted on Wednesday after he sought to dissolve Congress ahead of an impeachment vote.

Hundreds of people also protested in Lima, the capital, where riot police used tear gas to push protesters back.

The protests rocking Peru heated up particularly in rural areas, strongholds for Castillo, a former schoolteacher and political newcomer from a poor Andean mountain district.

A 15-year-old boy died of an injury suffered during a protest in the remote Andes community of Andahuaylas, Congresswoman Maria Taipe Coronado said as she made an impassioned plea from the legislative palace for Boluarte to step down.

“The death of this compatriot is the responsibility of Mrs. Dina for not submitting her resignation,” charged Taipe, who is affiliated with the party which helped Castillo and Boluarte to their election last year as president and vice president respectively before both were kicked out of that party. “Since when is protesting a crime?"

Taipe charged that authorities were using heavy-handed repressive tactics in quelling demonstrations.

Anthony Gutierrez, director of a local hospital, told a radio station that the second protester to die was an 18-year-old person. At least 26 people also were reported injured.

Boluarte, 60, was swiftly sworn in at midweek to replace Castillo, hours after he stunned the country by ordering the dissolution of Congress, which in turn dismissed him for “permanent moral incapacity.” Castillo was arrested on charges of rebellion.

Castillo's failed move against the opposition-led Congress came hours before lawmakers were set to start a third impeachment attempt against him.

Scattered protests around the country have continued for days.

On Saturday in Andahuaylas, 16 people were treated for concussions at a hospital, and one of those persons was reported in serious condition.

Meanwhile, in Lima, hundreds of people again gathered outside the legislative palace on Sunday. Dozens of police officers in riot gear used tear gas against those gathered, while just inside the building, lawmakers were beginning a session. Police also chased and beat protesters as they ran from the scene amid clouds of gas.

Peru has had six presidents in the last six years, including three in a single week in 2020 when Congress flexed its impeachment powers.

The power struggle in the country has continued as the Andes region and its thousands of small farms struggle to survive the worst drought in a half-century. The country of more than 33 million people is also experiencing a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections — having recorded about 4.3 million infections and 217,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram