Peru protests: Thousands of anti-government demonstrators clash with police in Lima for second day | World News

Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Peru after a second straight day of violent protests in the country’s capital.

Faced with tear gas, protesters occupied main streets in central Lima and locked in battles with officers.

Some protesters were seen hurling water bottles filled with rocks at police, while others were seen waving flags and heard chanting: “Blood spilled will never be forgotten”.

Riot police officers surround a protester on the ground during 'Occupy Lima' on January 20, 2023 in Lima, Peru to protest against President Dina Bolverte following the ouster and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo.  REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda
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A protester is surrounded by riot police in Lima.
People 'Take Over Lima' demonstrate against Peruvian President Dina Bolverte following the ouster and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo on January 20, 2023 in Lima, Peru.  REUTERS/Angela Ponce

Since then, protests have gripped large parts of the country. Impeachment and imprisonment Pedro Castillo, Peru’s first leader from a rural Andean background, when he tried to dissolve Congress last month.

The country’s former vice president, Dina Bolvarate, was sworn in as leader, but protesters have since staged demonstrations, calling for early elections and the release of Mr. Castillo.

Although the protests have been in waves for several weeks, they have been mainly concentrated in the southern region of the country, where a total of 55 people have been killed and 700 injured in the unrest.

However, they now The capital began to spread.with objectors trying to make Lima the focal point of the action.

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Riot police put out fires set by protesters during 'Occupy Lima'.  Demonstration against Peruvian President Dina Bolverte following the impeachment and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo on January 20, 2023 in Lima, Peru.  REUTERS/Angela Ponce

Traveled over 20 hours to join the protest

On Friday, many protesters in Lima arrived from remote Andean regions, with one man saying he traveled 20 hours from the southern Puno region, which has been the deadliest site of state violence for the past month.

Jose Luis Emma Quintas, 29, said: “We will stay until she resigns, until the dissolution of Congress, until there are new elections, otherwise we are not going anywhere.”

Anger at the police remained throughout the march, with protesters chanting “killer” as they walked past rows of officers wearing helmets and holding shields.

Demonstrations and clashes with the police also took place in other parts of the country on the same day.

In Arequipa, Peru’s second city, officers clashed with protesters who tried to storm the airport.

Also in southern Peru, the multinational firm Glencore decided to temporarily close its Antapaccay copper mine after an attack by protesters.

In the evening, Interior Minister Vicente Romero praised the police action during the protests, saying it was “very professional”.

A woman waves a Peruvian flag in front of riot police during 'Occupy Lima'.  A march to demonstrate against Peruvian President Dina Bolverte following the impeachment and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo on January 20, 2023 in Lima, Peru.  REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

‘You want to create chaos’

The protests followed a defiant speech by Ms Bolwarte on Thursday night, in which she accused the protesters of inciting violence and vowed to take legal action against them.

“You want to break the rule of law, you want to create chaos so that within that chaos and confusion you can take power,” he said.

Ms Bolwarte has said she supports plans to hold new elections in 2024, two years ahead of schedule, but protesters say that is not fast enough.

As well as demanding Ms Bolarte’s resignation, the protesters are also calling for a shutdown of Congress and changes to the constitution.



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