Peru protests will continue: Interior Minister
Peru's Interior Minister Vincente Romero says they are working intensively with the defense ministry to resolve the ongoing protests.
Anti-government protests that have left at least 46 people dead in Peru will continue, Interior Minister Vicente Romero said Monday.
"The social protests will continue. We are working intensively with the defense ministry to resolve them," Romero told the state TV Peru channel.
After last week's mass rally in the capital Lima, protesters have planned another for Tuesday to demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, despite authorities declaring a state of emergency.
Protesters, many from poor Andean regions, are also calling for a new constitution, immediate fresh elections and congress dissolution.
Civil groups have decried repression by the security forces, but the minister defended the police and praised their "spectacular" abilities.
"Right now we're experiencing one of the highest levels of violence in recent times, since the 1980s" when authorities were confronting left-wing Shining Path guerrillas, said Romero, who once again blamed a "faceless" group for funding protests that led to the injury of 540 police officers, according to him.
Authorities have long alleged that illegal miners and drug traffickers were "manipulating" protesters.
The South American country has been rocked by more than a month of protests, mostly in the southern and eastern areas, since the ouster and arrest of Boluarte's left-wing predecessor Pedro Castillo on December 7 in what many have called a coup.
Castillo's supporters have staged regular protests and blocked roads throughout the country, even at times trying to storm airports.
More than 80 roads were still blocked on Monday in eight of Peru's 25 regions.
On Saturday, Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Luis Elguero confirmed that due to the suspension of train operations going to the world-famous Inca citadel Machu Picchu and the destruction of its railways, over 400 tourists were stuck and had to be evacuated over the weekend.
The airports in Arequipa and Juliaca cities remain closed.
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