Published on :
At least 43 people have died in protests against power in Peru since December, after the death on Wednesday of a woman in the south of the country. Protesters called for a strike on Thursday and a large rally in the capital, Lima.
At least one person died on Wednesday (January 18) in clashes between protesters and police in Macusani, southern Peru, as hundreds of protesters from the Andes gathered for a large rally in Lima on Thursday after- noon. This death brings to 43 the number of deaths since the beginning of the crisis on December 7.
“At 6:20 p.m. (2320 GMT), a female person of approximately 35 years of age, who did not show vital signs, arrived at the emergency room,” according to a statement from San Martin de Porres Hospital in Macusani, Andean city in the Puno region, near the Bolivian border. The press release also speaks of a “prognosis (vital) reserved” for a “30-year-old” man injured in the “thorax”.
According to the local media which broadcast images, the police station of the city was burned during these clashes. The police station were rescued by helicopter, reported the Canal-N television channel without broadcasting images.
Protest groups demanding the departure of President Dina Boluarte and new elections in Peru have called for a strike across the country but above all for a large rally in Lima where thousands of Andean peasants have converged in recent days. They hope to “take Lima” and strike the spirits.
>> To read also: Crisis in Peru: the “country has been ungovernable for years”
It was for the moment impossible, despite the announcements of each other, to know the extent of this mobilization and to know how many people arrived in Lima.
Wednesday evening, before the announcement of the death of Macusani, the secretary general of the General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP), author of the strike call, underlined during a press conference: “The struggle of Peruvian people will not end tomorrow, the struggle will continue if Dina Boluarte does not listen to the people and acts arrogantly.” “It is a national popular civic strike with peaceful mobilizations of organizations from different regions, avoiding any act of vandalism,” assured Mr. Lopez. “This is a democratic mobilization of citizens from the provinces but also from here from Lima. They demand the immediate resignation of Dina Boluarte, the calling of new elections in 2023 and the dissolution of the Congress”, he said. he adds.
While the government declared a state of emergency for 30 days on Sunday in Lima, Cuzco, Callao and precisely Puno (where Macusani is located), the union leader clarified that the organizers had not requested authorization. “There is no authorization from the police, we never ask for authorization for a social demonstration, it is not an obligation that they authorize us”, he assured while the state of emergency, which allows the army to intervene to maintain order, also suspends freedom of assembly and movement.
The authorities have mobilized a large police force. On Wednesday evening, several small demonstrations in Lima were supervised by dozens of members of the police. In the evening, several statues and monuments in the center of Lima were already wrapped in plastic sheets to protect them from possible damage.