As Peru's defense minister declared a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday (December 14), unrest continued with protesters demanding the closure of Congress and the resignation of President Dina Boluarte in different parts of the country.
In Juliaca, a group of protesters tore down the gate of the Inca Manco Capac International Airport, forcing operations to close down, police reported.
The protests were sparked by the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo on Dec. 7 in an impeachment vote. Castillo, a leftist elected in 2021, was arrested after illegally trying to dissolve the Andean nation's Congress, the latest in a series of political crises the world's second-largest copper producer has faced in recent years.
"We have agreed to declare a state of emergency throughout the country, due to the acts of vandalism and violence," Boluarte's defense minister Alberto Otrola told reporters.
The state of emergency will allow soldiers to assist police in maintaining public safety after a week of fiery protests and road blockades.
Six people, mostly teenagers, have died in clashes with the police, authorities have said. All were victims of gunfire, according to rights groups. Protesters have blockaded highways, set fires to buildings, and invaded airports.
"They want to shut the voice of the people but the people will stay on the protests, it will keep on fighting until the end for all our brothers who have fallen," said Castillo supporter Eliazar Galvez during a protest in Lima.
Prosecutors on Wednesday said they were seeking 18 months of pretrial detention for Castillo, who has been charged with rebellion and conspiracy. Peru's Supreme Court met to consider the request but later suspended the session until Thursday (December 15)
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