Peru President Gives in to Protesters' Demands

Proposes moving up elections
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 12, 2022 12:00 AM CST
Peru President Gives In to Protesters' Demands
Supporters of ousted President Pedro Castillo gather in front of Congress in Lima, Peru, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Peru's newest president, Dina Boluarte, gave in to protesters' demands early Monday, announcing in a nationally televised address that she will send Congress a proposal to move up elections, the AP reports. 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, including that of a 15-year-old boy 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 center-left president ousted Wednesday by lawmakers 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. Protesters set fire to a police station, vandalized a small airport used by the armed forces, and marched in the streets.

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. Boluarte has called for a time of national unity to heal from the latest upheaval. Prime Minister Pedro Angulo said Boluarte’s Cabinet would be meeting Sunday night to evaluate the civil unrest and determine how to respond.

(More Peru stories.)

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