Pressure mounted on Peru’s new government as two cabinet members resigned in the aftermath of the country’s tragic protests since former President Pedro Castillo’s departure from power and detention last week.
The country has had a number of presidents deposed and ex-presidents imprisoned for crimes committed while in power. The country has three presidents in five days during one remarkable week in 2020.
Even by Peruvian standards, what occurred on December 7 and the following week was breathtaking, both in terms of the speed with which events unfolded and the consequences. The following are the top developments, with the first being the most recent and the last being the oldest:
1: On Friday, Education Minister Patricia Correa and Culture Minister Jair Perez resigned via Twitter, citing the deaths of victims during the turmoil.
“This morning I presented my letter of resignation from the position of education minister. The death of compatriots has no justification. State violence cannot be disproportionate and cause death, Correa wrote on Twitter.
Esta mañana he presentado mi carta de renuncia al cargo de Ministra de Estado en la cartera de educación. La muerte de connacionales no tiene justificación alguna. La violencia de Estado no puede ser desproporcionada y generadora de muerte. #NoMasMuerte pic.twitter.com/0qoZisc9Yc
— Patricia Correa (@correapatricia) December 16, 2022
2: Protests raged on Friday, with major routes blocked and airports forced to close. At least 17 people have been killed in the protests so far, and at least five more have died as a result of the indirect repercussions, BBC reported citing Police statements.
3: The United Nations expressed “deep concern” on Friday over allegations of kids killed or detained during the protests, as per a report by BBC.
Peruvian Foreign Minister Ana Cecilia Gervasi said on Tuesday that met with the UN High Commission to examine the situation.
Canciller Ana Cecilia Gervasi: Esta tarde me he reunido con la Embajadora Lisa Kenna de EE.UU., a quien he reiterado nuestro agradecimiento por la posición de apoyo de su Gobierno a la democracia en el Perú y a la presidenta @DinaErcilia. pic.twitter.com/NKE9L99QVH
— Cancillería Perú🇵🇪 (@CancilleriaPeru) December 14, 2022
4: Eight people were murdered in skirmishes between police forces and protestors in Ayacucho on Thursday, after the ruling of an 18-month pretrial incarceration for Castillo as he is investigated on allegations of “rebellion and conspiracy” by a supreme court panel, BBC reported citing some local officials.
Castillo has denied any wrongdoing and claimed to be the country’s legitimate president.
Peru has been in political instability for years, with successive governments accused of corruption, impeachment attempts on a regular basis, and presidential terms cut short.
5: The cabinet departures cast doubt on the viability of Boluarte’s government, which was sworn in on December 7 after Castillo was removed from office by a congressional vote hours after attempting to dissolve Congress.
6: Peru’s congress rejected a proposed constitutional amendment on Friday that would have pushed presidential elections to December 2023, one of the protestors’ main demands.
Following the killings in Ayacucho, the country’s ombudsman’s office stated that a criminal complaint had been filed to determine blame, but no further details were provided.
7: On Wednesday, Boluarte’s government declared a state of emergency, allowing police special powers and limiting liberties such as the right to assemble, but it appears to have had little effect in quelling the protests.
8: On Monday, anti-government protestors stopped roads and besieged the international airport in Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest city, as deadly turmoil escalated.
Supporters of Leftist former President Pedro Castillo protested his impeachment and incarceration.
9: In reaction to the demonstrations, his successor and former deputy, Dina Boluarte, proposed moving general elections forward by two years to April 2024.
Boluarte’s preparations, however, were dubbed a “dirty game” by Castillo.
10: On December 7, President Pedro Castillo, a 53-year-old former schoolteacher from a poor rural family who was elected in 2021 on a wave of dissatisfaction with traditional politicians, delivered an unexpected address to the nation.
He proclaimed the dissolution of Congress and the establishment of an “exceptional emergency government,” his hands obviously shaking as he read from a script, BBC reported.
He also announced a state of emergency across the country. The president said the measure was intended to “re-establishing the rule of law and democracy”.
ALSO READ: Peru Protests: Council Of State, Church Leaders Hold High-Level Talks Amid Political Crisis
(With Inputs From Agencies)