Peru: First death in Lima – 48 dead amid political crisis

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Hundreds of protesters, wearing face coverings and shields, clashed Saturday with heavy police forces around the country’s parliament. Peruas mass protests and incidents that have claimed at least 48 lives since December 7 continue.

A protester was killed in yesterday’s incidents in Lima, the Ombudsman, an independent authority responsible for the defense of human rights, announced via Twitter. This is the first death in the Peruvian capital.

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With the atmosphere suffocating due to the tear gas, the center of Lima turned once again into a theater of clashes between the forces of order and the demonstrators who, according to official data, have claimed the lives of 47 civilians and a policeman, who was burned alive.

The interim president, whose term could theoretically last until 2026, is calling for elections to be held within the year so that the Latin American country can get out of the “slum”.

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Yesterday he declared that Congress was not “able to agree on a date to hold general elections in which Peruvians will be able to freely and democratically elect the new authorities.”

“We urge MPs to put aside their partisan interests and put Peru’s interests first,” he added via Twitter.

From the capital’s airport, from where medicines and medical supplies were sent to the south, which has been paralyzed by the blockades, Ms. Bolovarte reiterated that she has no intention of “hooking into power.”

Ten deaths attributed to blockades

“We will not wait. They have to be done now,” erupted Sandra Sorella, a 53-year-old educator, demanding the polls be set up immediately during a demonstration in Cusco, a city deserted by tourists, who usually abound as they visit Machu Picchu. The archeological site of the Incas, the jewel of tourism in Peru, has been closed again, due to the political crisis.

In the face of hundreds of roadblocks, mainly in the southern part of the country, the Interior and Defense ministries announced on Thursday that “the Peruvian police, with the support of the armed forces”, will proceed “to open the roads”.

The government says the roadblocks have caused ten deaths, including three children who it says could not get the emergency medical care they needed.

Authorities count 88 roadblocks in eight of Peru’s 25 regions. The most important is the one through which food is transported to Lima.

The blockades cause shortages of essential goods and fuel for vehicles and household use, drive up prices and, always according to the government, complicate access to health services and the transport of medicines in parts of the country.

“There is neither gas nor fuel. In the stores you only find long-lasting food and everything is very expensive, it costs three times the normal price,” explained Guillermo Santino, an executive of a marketing company based in Ica, 300 kilometers south of Lima, on Friday.

Source: News Beast

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