new clashes in Lima, one death among the demonstrators

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Following the refusal of the deputies to give the green light to early elections, the center of Lima was once again the scene of clashes between the police and demonstrators, Saturday January 28, in a political crisis which has been going on for fifty-two days.

The march in Lima began as a popular celebration before turning into a clash near Parliament between a group of hooded demonstrators and riot police, leaving one dead, the Office of the Ombudsman announced on its Twitter account, and two injured, including a policeman. This is the first death recorded in the Peruvian capital as part of these rallies. The crackdown on protests in Peru has claimed 48 lives since December.

“We want dignity, Dina [Boluarte, présidente par intérim] quit now”, chanted the demonstrators. Mme Boluarte has ruled Peru since the dismissal, on December 7 by Parliament, of President-elect Pedro Castillo, the starting point for protests in the country.

“Put the interests of Peru first”

The deaths so far have occurred in Puno and other Andean regions in the south of the country, home to disadvantaged populations, who supported Mr Castillo and saw his election as revenge for what they see as contempt for Lima towards them.

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The demonstrators demand that the presidential and legislative elections be brought forward to 2023, a request made by the interim president and rejected by Parliament early Saturday morning. A bill tabled on Friday provided for the organization of early elections in December 2023. To contain the incipient mobilization, Parliament had already advanced the ballot to April 2024.

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The interim president, whose mandate runs until 2026, had called for such early elections in order to get the country out “from the quagmire”. She lamented on Saturday that Parliament was not “able to agree on a date for general elections, in which Peruvians will be able to freely and democratically elect the new authorities”. “We urge MPs to put partisan interests aside and put the interests of Peru first”she added on Twitter.

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From Lima airport, from where medicines and medical equipment were sent to the south of the country paralyzed by roadblocks, Mme Boluarte had assured that he did not want “cling to power”.

Also listen Political crisis, murderous repression: what is happening in Peru?

The World with AFP

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