Hundreds of anti-government protesters they have faced each other again this Saturday in the streets of the historic center of Lima with agents of the National Police of Peru (PNP), at whom fireworks and blunt objects were thrown, when they blocked the access to Abancay avenue, which leads to the Peruvian Congress.
Some protesters wore face coverings and, in some cases, carried shields to confront security forces, who hurled stones, bricks and debris, in addition to shelling, while officers responded with tear gas.
Local media showed that at least six agents were taken away injured in ambulances. On the other hand, a protester identified as Víctor Santisteban passed away this Saturday in Limaafter being injured in clashes with the Police, reported the Ombudsman’s Office, which brings the number of deaths to 65 since the start of the protests last December.
To date, according to data from the Ombudsman, there are already 47 people who participated in the protests who have died in clashes with the security forces, while a police officer died after being burned alive by protesters. Added to these victims are eleven deaths in events related to roadblocks and one death that occurred in the northern region of La Libertad, confirmed by the Police.
Likewise, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Acnur) reported the death of four Haitians who could not receive medical assistance due to the roadblocks, in addition to an unborn baby confirmed by Unicef, resulting in 64 deaths from the protests since December 11, a number to which is added the fatality this Sunday.
“We regret the death of Víctor Santisteban Yacsavilca in today’s violent demonstrations, the Grau Emergency Hospital guard headquarters coordinates with the Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office for the proceedings in accordance with the law,” the Ombudsman wrote on his Twitter account.
The agency pointed out that it also carries out “monitoring of health care” at the Guillermo Almenara de Lima hospital. seriously injured, whom I identify as Taine Isidoro Bedon Maguiña. “We are also in the hospitals that received injuries, as a result of the protests, to guarantee the right to health for all,” he remarked.
The Ministry of the Interior of Peru expressed this Sunday its “deepest condolences” to the relatives of Víctor and announced that the case is already being investigated by the Homicide Division of the National Police, together with the Public Ministry. The ministry pointed out that, according to the medical report of the EsSalud Social Security system, the fatality was treated in a hospital in Lima “for a sharp blunt wound behind the ear, the product of a blow.”
The violence broke out after a large group of people once again walked the streets of the historic center of Lima to demand the resignation of the president Dina Boluartethe closure of Congress, early elections and the call for a constituent assembly.
The word of the protesters
During the initial rally in Plaza Dos de Mayo, one of the protesters, identified as Elizabeth, told efe who arrived in Lima two weeks ago from the province of Yunguyo, in the southern region of Puno (bordering Bolivia).
After assuring that the Boluarte government is “a dictatorship“He affirmed that the protesters from the provinces will continue in Lima “until a solution is given” to their demands. “We do not intend to leave without answers from Lima, the solution is the closure of Congress, a new Constitution and the resignation of Dina Boluarte. Without results, we don’t plan to back down,” she emphasized.
Another person, who identified himself as wilfredo cayllopointed to efe who came from the Amazon region of Madre de Dios, and reiterated the demand that “Mrs. Dina Boluarte resign, Congress closes and a constitutional reform is made for a total change.” “We no longer believe in Congress, because there are people who do not represent us. We want it to be closed urgently,” he said before assuring that the protesters arrived in Lima of their “own will, self-convened” and have “no leader, nor anything”.
Both Elizabeth and Cayllo affirmed that the violence in the demonstrations is carried out by “infiltrated people to make all the disturbances”.
A “march for peace”
This harsh confrontation occurred shortly after a march and a “concert for peace“, which brought together nearly half a thousand people opposed to the demonstrations.
One of the attendees, who identified herself as Milagros, told Efe that the protests in Lima and in the regions “have a high percentage of vandalism, looting and deaths“, although also “there has been a repression that has been quite strong”. “This march is to show that we are on the side of peace and democracy, that there are fair struggles that can be carried out peacefully, that it is not necessary use violence,” he said.
Another woman, who only identified herself as Lissi, said she did not “agree with what people are doing in the streets” and said she went to the march and concert because she wants “peace in Peru.”
Amid the violent clashes that followed, the Ombudsman He called on the protesters “to stop all forms of violence, such as throwing objects at the PNP or damaging public or private property.” “These are not ways to exercise the right to protest, they are crimes. We ask the Police to act within the strict framework of their constitutional and legal powers,” the agency remarked.