Seven demonstrators killed as protests rock Peru after failed presidential coup
Peru closes Machu Picchu routes amid protests against President Dina Boluarte as government declares state of emergency in the south
December 13, 2022 10:24am
Updated: February 21, 2023 4:02pm
Demonstrations against President Dina Boluarte reached their peak Monday after the Peruvian leader declared a state of emergency in the south of the country, which has already left seven dead and dozens injured.
Ombudsman Eliana Revollar confirmed seven deaths in a period of 24 hours amid the clashes between police and protesters who are calling for the resignation of Boluarte and the closure of Congress after a failed coup by former President Pedro Castillo.
"There have been two very unfortunate days with a balance of seven deaths (...) two of them minors and all from firearms projectiles," Revollar told the Epicentro TV channel.
The most violent confrontations have been registered in the south of the country in the departments of Apurímac and Arequipa.
The first victim identified was Robert Pablo Medina Yanquerhuay, 16, who died Monday afternoon from a gunshot wound during a protest in Chincheros, in Apurímac. Miguel Arcana, 38, was reported deceased in Arequipa.
Other victims included Jhonatan Lloclla, 26, as well as Wilfredo Lizarme and Jonathan Enciso Arias, both 18 years old. The three all died in the Apurímac region. The most recent fatalities were identified as David Atequipa Quispe, 15, and Beckam Romario Quispe, 18.
Due to the magnitude of the protests in abundance of caution, train services between Cusco and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu were suspended Tuesday, reported the company PeruRail, the railway operator of the route.
“We are obliged to suspend this Tuesday, Dec. 13, the operations of our train services on the route to and from Machu Picchu,” the company stressed in a statement.
The decision comes after the various organizations in Cusco announced mobilizations and protests in that city. Flights to and from Cusco were also canceled due to the closure of the Alejandro Astete airport.
The protests come days after Castillo was ousted for trying to dissolve Peru's Congress and stage a coup. That same day, a majority of the South American country's 130 congressmen voted to remove Castillo for his actions, prompting Peru's Vice President Dina Boluarte to be sworn in as the country's first female president.
Around 3,000 protesters are calling for a national strike and the resignation of Boluarte and new elections, according to state media. Rural unions and other organizations have called an “indefinite strike” starting this Tuesday.