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  • Writer's pictureAanya M.

Protests in Peru are quickly evolving, here's what's happening

Key Points:

  • Peru’s ex-president Pedro Castillo was thrown in jail after attempting to dissolve congress and rule by decree. His vice-president Dina Boluarte was then installed as the new president.

  • The nation has been in upheaval for the past week as a result of once-peaceful demonstrations against Castillo's removal and Boluarte's installation. Protesters felt as if Castillo served as a voice for the underprivileged.

  • In response to the continuous unrest, The Boluarte administration declared a national state of emergency, implemented curfews in some cities, and suspended some civil liberties.

  • Approximately 800 tourists were stranded in Macchu Picchu. They were allowed to leave when protestors were put on hold. They resumed after tourists left.

Pedro Castillo, Peru's now-former president, attempted to dissolve Congress and rule by decree after facing a third attempt by congress to be impeached. This set off a whirlwind of drama that led to his arrest and the installation of his vice president as the new president. Peru is now reeling from widespread protests.

“We have taken the decision to establish an emergency government, to reestablish the rule of law and democracy to which effect the following measures are dictated: to dissolve Congress temporarily, to install a government of exceptional emergency, to call to the shortest term possible to elections for a new Congress with the ability to draft a new Constitution,” he declared December 7 during a televised national address.

Regardless of his faults, many protesters claimed that Mr. Castillo served as a voice for a section of the populace that has long felt left out by the elite, which is why the protests against his removal developed so quickly. Although anger over poverty and inequality has existed since the colonial era, it has only recently come to the forefront. In recent interviews, some protestors are arguing that Castillo was manipulated into his actions and this was done by elites wanting to be back in power. They are calling for Castillo to be put back into power.

Dina Boluarte, the country's sixth president in five years, is currently having trouble keeping things under control in a chaotic and corrupt political climate. Due to once peaceful protests at least 25 people have died and hundreds have been injured in clashes between the military and the police. Protestors fed up with Peru's defunct political system have persisted in gathering, calling for reform and squabbling with the military and police forces assigned to put them under control.

In response to the continuous unrest, the Boluarte administration declared a national state of emergency, implemented curfews in some cities, and suspended some civil liberties, such as the right to free movement throughout the nation and the right to assemble. Boluarte requested early elections as soon as December 2023 in an effort to calm the unrest, but Congress has rejected this idea. Some political figures from Latin America and organizations such as Amnesty International believe Boluarte and the police have overstepped their bounds in what has turned out to be a very volatile scenario.

In the middle of all this, approximately 800 international tourists were stranded in Macchu Picchu, a well-known tourist destination in Peru, as a result of the railway line that serves there have stopped running. However, in recent days, travelers were finally allowed to leave the country when the protests were put on hold, allowing for the reopening of the airport and neighboring highways to facilitate the movement of supplies and tourists. Following the departure of the tourists, protestors once more closed roads in the surrounding region, leading to a lack of food and fuel.

Will the protests end? Will Castillo be brought back as president? Will protestors be successful as they were in China? Are we entering an era where popular protests and demands are met across the world, even in totalitarian regimes?

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