3 killed, 52 injured in pro-Castillo protests in Peru's Junin
Peruvian police continue to crack down on protesters demanding early elections and the release of ousted President Pedro Castillo.
Three people were killed and another 52 were injured during protests in Peru's Junin region, demanding early elections and the release of ousted President Pedro Castillo, the local health department said on Saturday.
"We continue to update the information, a total of three civilians were killed and 52 were injured in clashes in Pichanaqui," the department said on social media.
#CrisisEnElPeru | Ante la cantidad de heridos y hospitalizados, el hospital de apoyo de Pichanaqui, en Chanchamayo, ha colapsado y no cuentan con banco de sangre. El hospital más cercano con mayor capacidad está en La Merced.— Huanca York Times (@HuancaYorkTimes) December 17, 2022
🎥 Imágenes: Roxana Matos pic.twitter.com/mPhPDC3COw
On Friday, Radio Programas del Peru reported that the death toll from nationwide protests in Peru has reached 20, six of which were killed in Apurimax and another eight in the city of Ayacucho.
Peru's Supreme Court approved to detain Castillo for 18 months before his trial, following the request of Supreme Prosecutor Uriel Teran on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Castillo called on police and the military to "stop killing" protesters demanding his release, slamming his arrest as unjust and arbitrary.
On December 7, Peru's parliament voted on impeaching Castillo, who had tried to dissolve the parliament before the vote. On the same day, Dina Boluarte, Vice President at the time, took an oath as the new President, saying she is assuming the presidency "in accordance with the Constitution of Peru, from now until July 26, 2026," the date on which Castillo's term would have expired.
Washington immediately defended the new regime. Just a day after Castillo's arrest, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols said, "We applaud Peruvians as they unite in support of their democracy," adding that the "US welcomes President Boluarte and looks forward to working with her administration to achieve a more democratic, prosperous, and secure region."
Neighboring countries on the continent, including Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, and Mexico are demanding that Castillo be released, asserting that Castillo is a victim of "anti-democratic persecution" and calling for his human rights to be respected. The governments put forward that they recognize Castillo as the only legitimate Peruvian president.
Amid protests, Boluarte proposed holding an early presidential election in 2024. At the same time, she did not rule out rescheduling the election to December 2023. But the Peruvian Congress on Friday rejected a move to set early elections.
The government of Peru proclaimed on December 14 a 30-day nationwide state of emergency to curb the protests.