Peru declares state of emergency amid protests in Lima
The declaration provides the army with the authority to intervene and to suspend constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly.
Peru declared another state of emergency in the capital Lima on Saturdayو alongside three other regionsو following mass protests against incumbent President Dina Boluarte.
The declaration provides the army with the authority to intervene to 'maintain order' and the ability to suspend constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly, according to a decree published in the official gazette, El Peruano.
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Boluarte said on Saturday that she will not resign after another day of protests and roadblocks across the country, as well as the arrest of a trade union leader with alleged ties to Maoist rebels.
“Some voices coming from the violent and radical groups demand my resignation, bringing people to chaos, disorder, and destruction. I say to them responsibly that I will not step down,” Boluarte said while speaking to the nation in a late-night broadcast on state TV on Friday.
In response to demands to shut down Congress, she backfired by stating that there are currently no legal grounds to suspend Congress.
This comes just one day after the last state of emergency expired on January 14 which was also enforced for 30 days to prevent protests that spurred since ousted President Pedro Castillo was removed from office last week on accusations of insurrection and conspiracy.
"A state of emergency has been declared for the whole country, due to the acts of vandalism and violence, the seizure of highways and roads, which are stabilizing (...) and require a forceful and authoritative response," said Alberto Otarola, Peru's PM.
Otarola and Boluarte under investigation
Otarola is now part of an investigation alongside Boluarte, launched by Peru's attorney general, Patricia Benavides, to identify those responsible for the deaths of civilians during some of the country's most violent social protests in years, according to her office.
"The Attorney General has ordered a preliminary investigation against President Dina Boluarte, Prime Minister Alberto Otarola, Interior Minister Victor Rojas, and Defense Minister Jorge Chavez," the office said in a statement.
According to the statement, "The preliminary investigation is related to the alleged crimes of genocide, murder, and grievous bodily harm committed during the demonstrations of December 2022 and January 2023 in the regions of Apurimac, La Libertad, Puno, Junin, Arequipa, and Ayacucho."
At least 42 people were killed in clashes with security forces, including a police officer who was burned alive in a vehicle, and hundreds more were injured.
“They demand Pedro Castillo’s release. I can’t set him free; I’m not a judge, neither a prosecutor. Castillo’s case is (under investigation) at court,” Boluarte said while defending the imprisonment of Castillo.