Pope Francis calls to end violence in Peru
"No to violence, regardless of where it originates. No more deaths," the Argentine pope said
January 23, 2023 7:25am
Updated: January 23, 2023 3:29pm
During his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sunday, Pope Francis called to end the violence in Peru, after a string of deadly protests has left at least 50 people dead in the last few weeks.
"No to violence, regardless of where it originates. No more deaths," the Argentine pope said.
The protests in Peru began on December 7, after former President Pedro Castillo attempted to stage a coup and dissolve congress. The same day, a majority of the South American country’s 130-person Congress voted to impeach Castillo for his actions. Vice President Dina Boluarte assumed the presidency, becoming the South American country’s first female president.
Demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Boluarte, the closure of Congress, the advancement of general elections to 2023, and a constituent assembly, among other demands.
The protests have turned violent in several regions of the country, resulting in at least 50 individuals dead after clashes with security forces. On Friday, dozens were injured in Lima after security forces were forced to use tear gas to prevent protesters from throwing glass bottles and burning fires on the street.
"Violence extinguishes the hope of a just solution to problems," Francis said.
"I encourage all sides to take the path of dialogue among brothers of the same nation, in full respect of human rights and the rule of law," the pope added.
Last week, Peru extended its 30-day state of emergency to include Lima and three other regions as the protests continued to spread throughout the country. Under the declaration, the country’s army is allowed to intervene to keep order and several constitutional rights are suspended, including freedom of movement and assembly