Council Of State, Church Leaders Hold High-Level Talks Amid Political Crisis

New Delhi: As Peru witnesses a deepening political crisis triggered by the ousting of the former president, high-level talks are taking place to try to resolve the same.

According to the BBC, the Council of State, the body involving representatives of all branches of power, and Peru’s church leaders have been meeting in the capital city of Lima.

Two government ministers had resigned after days of violent protests over the impeachment of President Pedro Castillo on December 7. Over 20 people have been killed in the violent protests.

The BBC’s report mentioned that thousands of tourists are trapped in the south-eastern city of Cusco after protesters led to a local airport being shut.

Peru has witnessed years of political turmoil, the latest crisis ensued after Castillo announced that he was dissolving Congress and introducing a state of emergency.

His plan backfired and Congress overwhelmingly voted to impeach him.

The ousted President is currently in detention and is being investigated on charges of rebellion and conspiracy. He denies all the accusations saying that he is still the country’s legitimate president.

Demonstrators have called for the closure of Congress, the resignation of new president Dina Boluarte and early elections. The Congress on Friday voted against a proposal to have elections forward to next year.

ALSO READ | Ousted Peru President Sentenced To 18-Month Detention, A Day After Govt Declared National Emergency

Clashes between the army and Castillo supporters in the central Ayacucho region on Thursday had at least eight people dead, the BBC reported citing health authorities. Videos on social media showed protestors blocking main roads and airports.

Hours later, Education Minister Patricia Correa announced that she was stepping down. Taking to Twitter, she wrote that the “death of compatriots has no justification”, and that “state violence cannot be disproportionate and cause death”.

Peru’s Culture Minister Jair Perez also resigned from his post.

The protests have affected the country’s tourism industry. About 5,000 tourists are stranded in Cusco after the airport was closed when protesters tried to storm the terminal, the city mayor told news agency AFP.

Cusco is the gateway to Macchu Picchu, an ancient Inca citadel that hosts hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Approximately 800 tourists are stuck in the small town at the foot of the mountain where the citadel stands after the railway line that serves it stopped running.