July 21, 2024

PROTEST AGAINST GOVT IN PERU that have left 47 dead spread into Cuzco

Weeks after the ouster of Peru’s leftist president, Pedro Castillo, persistent protests and a mounting death toll have exacerbated widespread disillusionment with the country’s young democracy.

The protests in rural Peru have grown in size and scope, paralyzing sections of the country and threatening efforts by the new president, Dina Boluarte, to gain control. Mass protests have shuttered entire cities. Protesters have blocked highways with giant boulders and broken glass and have pledged to take the fight to Lima, the capital. Local officials have warned that the country is headed toward anarchy.

The unrest represents a profound frustration with Peru’s young democracy, which protesters say has failed to address a yawning gap between the rich and the poor and between Lima and the country’s rural areas. Democracy, they say, has largely helped a small elite – the political class, the rich and corporate executives – to accumulate power and wealth, while providing few benefits to many other Peruvians.

Since Castillo’s removal, at least 50 people have been killed, 49 of them civilians, some of them shot in the chest, back and head, leading human rights groups to accuse the military and the police of excessive use of force and of firing indiscriminately at protesters. Those deaths have hit particularly hard in the southern city of Juliaca, where only 40% of the population has running water, many roads are unpaved and malnutrition is the biggest problem at the lone public hospital.

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