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Peru Declares State of Emergency as Eight Die in Protests Over Castillo Ousting

Published: December 15, 2022
(Image: Screenshot / Reuters)
(Image: Screenshot / Reuters)

Peru announced a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday (December 14), granting police special powers and limiting freedoms, including the right to assembly, after a week of fiery protests that have left at least eight dead.

The protests were sparked by the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo on Dec. 7 in an impeachment vote. Castillo, a leftist elected in 2021, was arrested after illegally trying to dissolve the Andean nation’s Congress, the latest in a series of political crises the world’s second-largest copper producer has faced in recent years.

Castillo’s former vice president, Dina Boluarte, was sworn into office after his removal, and her presidency has divided other Latin American leaders. Social media video showed protesters burning an image of Boluarte in the streets of Peru’s capital on Wednesday (December 14).

The political upheaval has sparked angry and sometimes violent protests around the Andean country, especially in the rural and mining regions that propelled the former peasant farmer and teacher to office in July last year.

Eight people, mostly teenagers, have died in clashes with the police, authorities have said. At least six were victims of gunfire, according to rights groups. Protesters have blockaded highways, set fires to buildings, and invaded airports.

Production: Thomas Holdstock, Mahezabin Syed