Peru's Boluarte refuses to step down as protests intensify
Peru's new President tried to appease demonstrators by pushing for an early elections to be held in December 2023, but the proposal fell short of Congress' approval.
Peru's appointed President Dina Boluarte said on Saturday she will not step down from her presidential duties amid protests intensifying in Peru calling for her resignation that have already left 20 dead and several wounded.
She tried to appease demonstrators by pushing for early elections to be held in December 2023.
But Congress reportedly rejected the proposal on Friday.
Yet some lawmakers have called for reconsidering the legislature at a forthcoming session of Congress, including House speaker Jose Williams.
"What is solved by my resignation? We will be here, firmly, until Congress determines to bring forward the elections," Boluarte told Peruvians, adding that she was regretful of the deaths that ensued from the protests.
Boluarte further said that armed troops were solely on the streets "to take care and protect" Peruvian citizens as she described the protests as "overflowed" with elements of violence that were coordinated, and not spontaneous.
"These groups did not emerge overnight. They had tactically organized to block roads," she said.
Since December 6, demonstrators in Peru have been blocking the highly strategic Carretera Panamericana, the Pan-American Highway which stretches across the entire Americas and runs north–south through the whole length of Peru and connects all major cities in the country's coastal area.
A scene from Peru today as a judge extends ex-President Castillo’s jail time by 18 months. Supporters of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo blocked the PanAmerican highway in the town of La Joya in Arequipa.https://t.co/nqLJNp2Kqv#Peru #LatinAmerican pic.twitter.com/BNIwJXd7jg— Black Immigrant Daily News (@NewsAmericasNow) December 16, 2022
Moreover, deaths have been reported at several airports where protestors clashed with law enforcement.
Health minister Rosa Gutierrez announced on Friday that 20 people had been killed since Castillo was arrested on December 7, with two cabinet ministers resigning over the deaths.
Protests against the interim government began to take place across Peru following the impeachment and removal of former President Pedro Castillo.
Peru's Supreme Court approved to detain Castillo for 18 months before his trial, following the request of Supreme Prosecutor Uriel Teran on Wednesday.
If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in jail.
Earlier this week, Castillo called on police and the military to "stop killing" protesters demanding his release, slamming his arrest as unjust and arbitrary.