Peru mourns people killed in protests amid state of emergency

© Juan Carlos Cisneros, AFP

Peru's capital Lima and three other regions were under a renewed state of emergency Sunday, with deadly weeks-long protests against President Dina Boluarte showing no signs of abating.

At least 42 people have died, according to Peru's human rights ombudsman, in five weeks of clashes at burning roadblocks and other flashpoints to demand fresh elections and Boluarte's resignation.

She took over on December 7 as the South American country's first woman president following the impeachment and arrest of leftist Pedro Castillo for his failed bid to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.

Castillo, a former rural school teacher and union leader, faced vehement opposition from Congress during his 18 months in office and is the subject of numerous criminal investigations into allegations of widespread graft.

His ouster sparked immediate nationwide protests, mainly among the rural poor, that petered out over the holiday period but resumed on January 4.

The government extended by 30 days a state of emergency from midnight Saturday for the regions of Lima, Cusco, Callao and Puno, authorizing the military to back up police actions to restore public order.

The state of emergency also suspended constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly, according to a decree published in the official gazette.

In Puno, epicenter of the protests, the government declared a new night-time curfew for 10 days, from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am.

Almost 100 stretches of road remained blockaded Sunday in 10 of Peru's 25 regions -- a record according to a senior land transport official.



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