President Dina Boluarte remains at the helm of Peru as authorities assured on Sunday that deadly protests since the impeachment and arrest of her predecessor on December 7 were waning, with Pope Francis calling for an end to violence.
"The measures we have taken are working (...) The violence of people who demonstrated in the streets is decreasing
," Prime Minister Pedro Angulo said on television on Sunday.
Protesters demand the release of Pedro Castillo, the resignation of Dina Boluarte, the dissolution of Parliament and immediate general elections.
The most intense protests have taken place in the poverty-stricken Andean region of southern Peru, where social grievances have long gone unaddressed.
“What would my resignation solve? We will stay here, firm, until the Congress decides to advance the elections (...) I ask that we reconsider the vote"
“What would my resignation solve?
We will stay here, firm, until the Congress decides to advance the elections (...) I ask that we reconsider the vote"
of Friday, when the Parliament decided against the advancement of the general elections from 2026 to 2023, Dina Boluarte pleaded on Saturday.
Read alsoPeru sinks into institutional crisis, thousands of tourists stranded in Machu Picchu
The deadlock is notably due to a part of the pro-Castillo Congress, which wants the ex-president to be part of a Constituent Assembly responsible for drafting the new Peruvian Constitution.
Which was not unanimous.
New vote in Parliament on Tuesday
The proposal to hold the elections earlier, supported by 83% of the Peruvian population, will again be put to a vote in Parliament on Tuesday, in the hope of calming popular discontent.
In a televised message, the former vice-president of Pedro Castillo until the dismissal of the latter deplored these movements which turned into confrontation leaving at least 20 dead and 646 injured, including minors.
Some deaths are linked to clashes with the military, authorized to intervene to maintain internal security as part of the establishment of the state of emergency for a period of 30 days.
"Political and social crisis"
“It is only through calm and a sincere and open dialogue that we will be able to work (...). How can we fight between Peruvians, mess up our institutions, block the roads?
“It is only through calm and a sincere and open dialogue that we will be able to work (...).
How can we fight between Peruvians, mess up our institutions, block the roads?
, launched the former vice-president of Pedro Castillo.
The president, from the same radical left party as Pedro Castillo, explained that if the armed forces took to the streets,
“it was to protect”
“because the situation was getting out of control”
She denounced the presence of
“violent groups” .
The president, however, specified that she had spoken with the head of the Armed Forces and that an investigation into the civilians who died during the clashes would be opened, then brought before the military court.
She also said that the prosecutor's office had taken up the case.
With the aim of better managing this crisis, Dina Boluarte also announced on television on Sunday that she would make several changes in her government on Tuesday, including that of Prime Minister, by favoring political experience.
Appeal from Pope Francis
Pope Francis prayed on Sunday during his Angelus in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican
"for the violence in the country to cease and for us to take the path of dialogue in order to overcome the political and social crisis affecting the population"
Dina Boluarte, from Apurimac, one of the conflict zones, delivered part of her message in Quechua, a language spoken by a large Andean part of the country.
Protests erupted after Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve parliament on December 7 and rule by decree.
A former left-wing teacher from a rural and modest background, he was arrested when he tried to reach the Mexican embassy to seek asylum.
Initially imprisoned for seven days, justice decided Thursday that he would remain in prison for 18 months, until June 2024, in order to be charged with rebellion.
He faces a 10-year prison sentence, according to prosecutor Alcides Diaz, in charge of the case.
200 tourists evacuated
Some 200 tourists stranded in the famous Machu Picchu region due to protests were evacuated on Saturday, AFP noted.
On board a train, they arrived near the town of Piscacucho, in the region of Cuzco (south), where a huge rock blocked the passage.
From there, tourists - including North Americans and Europeans - walked about two kilometers to board buses to the city of Cusco, which has an international airport.
The mayor of the village near Machu Picchu, Darwin Baca, told AFP that
were stranded in Cuzco.
The city's airport reopened on Friday afternoon.