Thousands of people protested in the streets of Peru’s capital and were met with tear gas and pellets as they clashed with security forces just hours after President Dina Boluarte called for a “truce” in nearly two months of protests.
The anti-government demonstration on Tuesday was the largest – and most violent – since last Thursday, when large groups of people, many from remote Andean regions, descended on the capital to demand Boluarte’s resignation, early elections and the end of Congress.
Before last week, large anti-government protests that followed the ouster of President Pedro Castillo took place in remote parts of Peru, especially in the south of the country, highlighting the deep divide between the people living in the capital and the long-neglected villages.
The crisis that has caused political violence in Peru for more than two decades began when Castillo, Peru’s first president from the Andean countryside, tried to cut short his third term of office by ordering the dissolution of Congress on December 7.
Lawmakers impeached him instead, the country’s police arrested him before he could find sanctuary and Boluarte, who was vice president, was sworn in.
Since then, 56 people have died amid riots involving Castillo’s supporters, 45 of whom died in direct combat with security forces, according to Peru’s ombudsman. None of them died in Lima.