Peru: Arequipa airport blocked by protesters despite the promise of early elections

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Some 2,000 protesters blocked activities at the airport in Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city, on Monday as the country is rocked by violent protests.

In Peru, some 2,000 people interrupted Monday, December 12, the activities of the Arequipa airport, while the country is shaken by demonstrations demanding the resignation of the new president and early elections.

“The airport runway was blocked with burning stones, tires and wood”, an AFP photographer noted on the spot, indicating that the runway lighting system was also damaged and that police attempt to repel protesters with tear gas.

Towards early elections

President Dina Boluarte announced, on the night of Sunday to Monday, that she was going to present a bill aimed at advancing the elections from 2026 to April 2024. Saying to understand the “will of the citizens”, Dina Boluarte, vice-president until his inauguration on December 7 after the dismissal of President Pedro Castillo, said he had “decided to take the initiative for an agreement (…) to advance the general elections to April 2024”, after the crisis caused by Pedro Castillo’s failed attempt to dissolve Parliament.

Protests have multiplied across the country, especially in cities in the North and the Andes. Thousands of people mobilized in the streets of Cajamarca, Arequipa, Tacna, Andahuaylas, Cuzco and Puno, demanding the release of the former head of state and new elections and calling for a national strike. The violence left at least two dead and five injured.

With one million inhabitants, Arequipa is the second largest city in the country. It is the “juridical capital of Peru” and the seat of the Constitutional Court.

With AFP

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