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Dozens injured as Peru police attack protesters demanding president resign

A demonstrator flees from tear gas shot by riot police during a protest against the government of President Dina Boluarte, in Lima on January 20, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Dozens of Peruvians have been injured following police clashes with protesters during anti-government protests that are sprawling across the country.

At least 58 people were injured in nationwide demonstrations by late afternoon Friday, according to a report from Peru's ombudsman.

In Lima, the capital, police officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters who allegedly threw glass bottles and rocks.

Thousands of protesters came to Lima this week calling for change and angered by the rising death toll from the protests, which officially reached 45 on Friday.

Protests have been widespread since Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was ousted in December in what his supporters characterize as an orchestrated coup.

Demonstrators demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, snap elections, a congress reshuffle, and a new constitution. Moreover, they demand better living conditions, which they say they have been deprived of in the last two decades.

The unrest this week was concentrated in southern Peru. The government has extended the state of emergency to six different regions and has restricted some civil rights.

Boluarte has rejected the requests to resign despite the fact that several regional governors and professional associations, including lawyers and teachers, have joined the calls for her to resign.

Some groups blame the chaos on Boluarte and say that she suppressed the protests that took place on December 7 in response to Castillo's ouster.

Human rights groups have accused both the police and the army of using deadly weapons.

The December fatalities marked the worst episode of violence the copper-rich Andean nation has experienced in more than two decades as many people in poorer rural regions are angry at Lima's political elite over inequality and rising prices.

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