Dozens injured and police stations attacked as protests continue in Peru – The Guardian

Dozens of Peruvians were injured as tensions flared again on Friday night when police clashed with protesters in anti-government demonstrations spreading across the country.

In the capital Lima, police officers used tear gas to fend off protesters who threw glass bottles and rocks while fires burned in the streets, television footage showed.

In the southern Puno region, about 1,500 protesters attacked a police station in the city of Ilave, Interior Minister Vicente Romero said. A police station in Zepita, Puno, was also on fire, he said.

Health authorities in Ilave reported eight patients who were taken to hospital with injuries including broken arms and legs, bruised eyes and punctured abdomens.

According to a report by the Peruvian ombudsman, 58 people were injured in demonstrations across the country by late afternoon.

On Friday, people gather to protest against the government in Lima.On Friday, people gather to protest against the government in Lima. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The unrest followed a day of unrest on Thursday when one of Lima’s most historic buildings burned down as President Dina Boluarte vowed to crack down on “vandals”.

The destruction of the building, a nearly century-old mansion in central Lima, was described by officials as the loss of a “monumental asset.” The authorities are investigating the causes.

Romero claimed Friday the fire was “properly planned and arranged.”

Thousands of protesters descended on Lima this week demanding change and angered by the rising death toll in the protests, which officially stood at 45 on Friday.

As Friday’s protests began, protesters appeared more organized than the day before, occupying key streets in downtown Lima.

Police appeared more combative than the day before and, after guarding protesters who had been blocked on downtown streets, began firing volleys of tear gas.

Firefighters work in front of a historic mansion destroyed by fire during protests in downtown Lima.Firefighters work in front of a historic mansion destroyed by fire during protests in downtown Lima. Photo: Paolo Aguilar/EPA

Protests have rocked Peru since Pedro Castillo was ousted as president in December after trying to dissolve the legislature to avoid an impeachment trial.

Boluarte has rejected calls for her resignation and early elections, instead calling for dialogue and promising to punish those involved in the unrest.

In the Cusco region, Glencore’s major Antapaccay copper mine suspended operations on Friday after protesters attacked the site – one of the largest in the country – for the third time this month.

With Portal and Associated Press