Peruvian President calls for peaceful protests in Lima

Peruvian President calls for peaceful protests in Lima

First change: 01/18/2023 – 12:00 p.m

Lima (AFP) – Peru’s President Dina Boluarte on Tuesday asked hundreds of protesters from different regions gathering in Lima to resign to express their demands in peace and tranquillity.

“We know they want to take Lima for whatever comes out on the networks on the 18th and 19th. I challenge them to take Lima, yes, but in peace, calm. I’m waiting for them to be at the government building to be able to talk about the social agendas they have,” Boluarte said in an official activity.

However, Boluarte believes that “the political agenda they propose is unenforceable by the executive”.

The protesters’ platform of demands is essentially political: the resignation of the president, immediate new elections and a constituent assembly. And the government has already rejected all of these requests.

The first to enter Lima were a group of peasants from the Andean city of Andahuaylas, arriving by truck and car this morning and concentrated in Plaza Manco Cápac.

On Monday evening, dozens of farmers drove from Cusco in buses and trucks to the capital, 1,100 km away.

While hundreds of Aymara citizens mobilize in several buses from the city of Ilave in the Puno region on the border with Bolivia.

A riot police officer throws a gas canister during a protest against the Peruvian government January 17, 2023 in Lima.

A riot police officer throws a gas canister during a protest against the Peruvian government in Lima January 17, 2023 © Ernesto Benavides / AFP

“I’m looking forward to going to Lima because the fight is going on, all the Aymara blood brothers are going to the fight,” Julio César Ramos told AFP before boarding a bus to Lima.

“My country hurts me that it is like this, so Aymara and Quechua brothers are just one,” Roger Mamani, 28, told AFP.

“He doesn’t represent us”

On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of protesters from some regions of the country marched through the streets of Lima until they reached Plaza San Martín, the historic epicenter of the protests.

“All of us who have come from the city of Cusco, join the national strike. Dina Boluarte should go because she doesn’t represent the coast, the mountains or the jungle,” said 45-year-old professor Edith Calixto, who arrived on Tuesday from Cusco.

Demonstration against the President of Peru, Dina Boluarte, on January 15, 2023 in Lima

Demonstration against the President of Peru, Dina Boluarte, in Lima on January 15, 2023 © Cris BOURONCLE / AFP

Cajamarca residents had signs that read “National Insurgency.” Some held rondero whips.

“Dina, please step back so that this city calms down, because the city will not give up,” Antonia Riveros, a 55-year-old native of Huancavelica, said indignantly.

In Lima, almost at the same time, dozens of demonstrators from collectives and political parties carried out a “peace march” in white T-shirts to oppose the Boluarte protests.

“We’re going for a walk, a march for peace, because we don’t want violence in our country. I know there is now a group that disagrees with the current government, but it’s still not the way to protest what we want, peace of mind,” 56-year-old businessman César Noa told AFP.


Lima © / AFP

call for thought

Roadblocks continue to set the tone for the protests. However, as of this Tuesday morning, 94 stretches of freeway in 8 of the 25 regions were blocked by pickets, three regions fewer than at the weekend.

Law enforcement officials cleared a section of the North Panamerican Highway, a thoroughfare that connects the capital to these regions of the country, early Tuesday morning.

In Arequipa, residents blocked the Panamericana Sur highway, which reaches Tacna on the border with Chile, with rocks and logs.

The director of the National Land Transport Council, Martín Ojeda, pointed out that these new blockades have paralyzed 80% of the bus fleet.

“These gentlemen (protesters) need to be asked to think, because the vast majority of them, for legitimate reasons, go out and protest peacefully, but blocking roads, preventing the entry of petrol or fuel trucks is already bringing an end to the peaceful protests said President Boluarte.

The protests, which have claimed at least 42 lives in five weeks, according to the Ombudsman’s office, resumed on January 4 after a truce for the New Year holidays.