In Peru, the government orders the unblocking of roads by the police and the army

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While dozens of roadblocks paralyze several regions of southern Peru, a country plagued by violent protest, the government announced Thursday evening the intervention of the police and the army to free them.

The government of Peru on Thursday (January 26th) ordered the intervention of the police and the army to clear, in the coming hours, the dozens of roadblocks set up across the country by demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Dina Boluarte. .

“The national police of Peru, with the support of the armed forces, will carry out the unblocking of the roads of the national network”, announced in the evening the ministries of the Interior and Defense in a press release.

Authorities on Thursday identified 88 barricades on roads in 8 of Peru’s 25 regions. These roadblocks lead to shortages of basic products and fuel, drive up prices and, according to the government, complicate access to care and the arrival of medicines in several areas of the country. The central highway that connects the Andes and is the main route for importing food products to Lima has notably been closed. Hundreds of trucks are blocked.

The government has accused the dams of being the direct cause of ten deaths, including those of three children who, according to it, were unable to receive the critical care they needed in time. On this date, ten innocent Peruvians lost their lives because of this illegal act”, denounced the two ministries in their press release.

“Right to life”

The right to demonstrate “does not include blocking the way, much less can trump the right to life of people who need to be transported to receive treatment (…) or who need the oxygen or medicines arrive in their regions so that they can continue to live,” they added.

Peru has been in the grip of a serious political crisis since the dismissal and arrest on December 7 of socialist President Pedro Castillo, accused of an attempted coup for having wanted to dissolve the parliament which was preparing to oust him from power.

Clashes between security forces and pro-Castillo demonstrators, who demand the resignation of Dina Boluarte and immediate elections, have left at least 46 dead in six weeks.

“Against Dictatorship”

Thursday in the capital, several hundred people again gathered calmly in Dos de Mayo square. “We are fighting against the dictatorship of Dina Boluarte,” protester Eduardo Vazquez told AFP as he handed out rations of cau cau, a typical dish made from beef tripe, to other protesters.

However, clashes between demonstrators and police broke out in the historic center of the capital. Some threw stones and firecrackers, and others responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

In Juliaca, a mining town in the Puno region (south), relatives of victims of the demonstrations demanded “justice” on Thursday from the government of Dina Boluarte. “I only ask for justice. I ask you to help us because no one will give my brother back to me,” exclaimed, in tears, María Samillán, sister of doctor Marco Antonio Samillán, 31, who was shot dead during a a demonstration in Juliaca.

In this poor region of the southern Andes, a clash with the police during an attempt to take control of the airport on January 9 left 18 dead, including a police officer who was burned alive. “Every day I feel like I’m dying too. I can’t live anymore,” said Maria Samillán during a press conference with the National Coordination Committee for Human Rights (CNDDHH).

With AFP

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