Peru: President Castillo announces the end of the state of emergency amid violent clashes in Lima
Photo: REUTERS / Courtesy
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo announced in Congress the end of the state of emergency that he had decreed at midnight on Monday to deal with the wave of protests and riots that had spread throughout the country.
“I must inform you that from now on we are going to annul this tenure, it is up to us to call for the tranquility of the Peruvian people,” Castillo said in a meeting with members of his government and congressmen at the legislative headquarters in Lima.
The president then left the legislative palace, according to what he said, to sign the decree that annuls the previous one.
Then The first clashes had already been registered in the center of Lima between police and some of the protesters who tried to advance towards Congress to show their rejection of Castillo and his exceptional measure.
Local television images showed several injured police officers and police charges on Abancay Avenue under a rain of objects thrown by the protesters and the gas launched by the police officers.
Some of the protesters attacked public buildings in the center of Limasuch as the headquarters of the Superior Court of Justice, the Public Ministry or the National Elections Jury.
A group managed to enter the headquarters of the Judiciary, removing documents from the building, which they left lying on the ground.
The Peruvian government had decreed a curfew this Tuesday, April 5, in the province of Lima and its neighboring Callao in response to the truckers’ strike that has been going on for a week and in which four people have died and another 20 have been detained as a result of the resurgence of the protests.
The protests and blockades originated on March 28 in response to the rise in fuel prices. They began with carriers, but later other workers’ unions joined.
The decree that approved the state of emergency suspended until midnight on Tuesday “the constitutional rights related to liberty and personal security, the inviolability of the home and the freedom of assembly and movement.”
The Ombudsman, Walter Gutiérrez, and the mayor of Lima, Jorge Muñoz, filed a writ of habeas corpus because they judged the measure to be unconstitutional. Congress had also called for the repeal of the state of emergency.
A parenthesis of dubious usefulness for the president
By Guillermo D. Olmo, correspondent from BBC World in Peru
The controversial state of emergency in the provinces of Lima and Callao came to an abrupt end.
By the time Castillo announced the return to normality, the fuse of violence had already lit in the center of Lima, where many openly defied the mandatory immobility to take to the streets to protest against the president.
An exceptional measure that should serve to quell the violence that had taken over the protests over the rise in fuel prices acted, on the contrary, as a catalyst for many of Castillo’s detractors to launch themselves against Congress determined to demand his resignation.
The clashes with the Police recalled images of the recent past.
It is a story that has been seen in recent years in Peru, that of angry protesters demanding the resignation of the president.
It is unclear whether Castillo has come close to his goal of appeasing the country, but the state of emergency has emboldened many who see him as incapable of leading it.
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