The president of Peru calls for a truce after more than 50 deaths

LIMA (HPD) — Peruvian President Dina Boluarte on Tuesday called for a truce to those who have been protesting for almost two months to demand her resignation and that of members of Parliament in demonstrations that have left more than fifty people dead in clashes with the forces of security.

In a conference with the international press, Boluarte said that the truce seeks to establish dialogue tables “and, even better, to be able to set the agenda for each region and develop the peoples.”

“I am not going to get tired of calling them to dialogue, peace and unity,” said Boluarte from the presidential palace.

Marches and clashes with security forces, which until a week ago were mainly in the southern Andes, reached the capital and on Tuesday hundreds of protesters walked the streets of the wealthiest district, San Isidro, calling for the resignation of the representative

Boluarte said that he will remain in power until the date agreed by the legislators, who have yet to call a meeting to ratify the request approved in the first vote in December for the general elections to be held in April 2024. “I have no intention of staying as president, beyond what we have set in advance of the elections,” she said.

In contrast to the international concern about the excessive force in the response of the uniformed officers to the demonstrations, the president defended the “immaculate” work of the police. She also accused drug dealers, illegal miners and smugglers of fueling the protests.

The 56 deaths in less than two months of the Boluarte government, reported by the Ombudsman’s Office until Monday, have inflamed the protesters made up mainly of peasants from the Andes, but also by university students and migrants from the Andean region in Lima.

The protests began after Boluarte — who was vice president of President Pedro Castillo, Peru’s first rural-born president — was sworn in on December 7 as the new president. She had promised exactly one year before that if the president was removed, she would resign because her loyalty was “bulletproof.”

Castillo was dismissed that same December 7 after a failed attempt to dissolve Congress to avoid a vote that sought to remove him from office.

Boluarte has said that he supports a plan to advance the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 2026 to 2024. But many of the dissatisfied say that there is no possible dialogue with a government that, according to them, has unleashed so much violence.

“It is a government of a murderous woman, a murderous prime minister and murderous military and police officers,” said Samuel Acero, a protest leader who came to Lima from the Cusco region.

The demonstrations in Lima are known as the “march of the four suyos”, in reference to the four cardinal points of the Inca empire. It is the same name that received another massive mobilization in the year 2000 when thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to protest against the autocratic government of Alberto Fujimori, who resigned months later.

The protests have grown to the point that the demonstrators are unlikely to accept Boluarte’s resignation. Now they are also demanding a structural institutional reform in the face of the heightened crisis of confidence of the ruling elite.

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