Peru president calls for ‘national truce’ after weeks of protests

President Dina Boluarte urges opponents to engage in “dialogue, peace and unity” following weeks of violent protests that have left at least 50 people dead.

President Boluarte said that the weeks of protests have already resulted in over $1.2 billion worth of damage to the country’s production and infrastructure.
(AFP)

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte has called for a “national truce” as thousands of protesters continue to call for her resignation and fresh elections.

Boluarte called for “dialogue, peace and unity” on Tuesday following weeks of protests that have at times turned violent, with over 50 people killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the last two months.

During the televised press conference, Boluarte said that the weeks of protests have already resulted in $515.61 million worth of production damages and another $773.42 million in infrastructure damages.

Many Peruvians remain angry at the ouster of former president Pedro Castillo, who was arrested on December 7 after attempting to dissolve parliament and rule by decree.

Protests broke out almost immediately, largely fueled by anger in poor rural regions in the south where inhabitants — mainly Indigenous — felt that Castillo represented their interests rather than those of the Lima elites.

Demonstrators have kept up weeks of protests and road blocks and are also demanding the dissolution of Congress and the rewriting of the constitution.

“I call on my dear country to a national truce to allow for the establishment of dialogue, to fix the agenda for each region and develop our towns. I will not tire from calling for dialogue, peace and unity,” Boluarte said in a press conference with foreign media.

Boluarte apologised several times for those killed in the protests but ruled out resigning.

“I will go once we have called a general election… I have no intention of remaining in power.”

Boluarte said she was sure Congress would agree in February to advance elections, currently due for April 2024.

Asked about her possible resignation, Boluarte scoffed at the idea that it would “solve the crisis and the violence.”

The government has earlier extended a state of emergency to six regions, curtailing some civil rights.

READ MORE: Peru police fire tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters

Source: AFP

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