Peru: Police, Protesters Battle as Thousands Try to ‘Take Lima’

Clashes between riot police and protesters were reported on Thursday evening in the Peruvian capital after the massive "takeover of Lima" march demanding the resignation of Pres. Dina Boluarte deteriorated into violence.

Peru: Police, Protesters Battle as Thousands Try to ‘Take Lima’
Image credit: Associated Press

Facts

  • Clashes between riot police and protesters were reported on Thursday evening in the Peruvian capital after the massive "takeover of Lima" march demanding the resignation of Pres. Dina Boluarte deteriorated into violence.
  • An estimate of at least 3.5K demonstrators gathered in Lima's historic downtown, with some of them throwing rocks to try to get through police lines that barred them from reaching key government buildings and police officers responding with tear gas.
  • During the scuffles that killed at least one person and injured 30 others, a historic building near San Martín Plaza in Lima's historic center caught fire but the cause was not immediately known.
  • Thursday's protests, which came in defiance of a government-ordered state of emergency, led to violence and damage also reported at airports in the cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno.
  • Demonstrations have rocked Peru since former Pres. Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested in December after trying to dissolve Congress, evolving into a broader anti-government movement. At least 53 people have died in recent clashes.
  • In a televised speech Thursday night, Boluarte thanked police for controlling the “violent protests” and vowed to prosecute those responsible while reasserting her plans to bring elections for president and Congress forward by two years to 2024.

Sources: Guardian, Al Jazeera, Axios, CNN, Washington Post, and ABC.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by WSWS. Through its brutal actions, the Boluarte regime forfeited any legitimacy to lead the divided country. Even curfews cannot keep impoverished Peruvians from standing up for Castillo and democracy. The fury is justified since it was Washington that orchestrated the coup against Castillo to secure US corporate and geopolitical interests. It's time for US imperialism and its increasingly repressive Peruvian puppet government to accept reality and return Peru to the Peruvians.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by El País. Boluarte has the right to continue Castillo's remaining term after his failed coup attempt. While most Peruvians supported Castillo's ouster and arrest, it is nevertheless true that Boluarte has so far failed to quell general public discontent and stabilize the situation. While the protests have included acts of vandalism and looting, which no government in the world would stand idly by, Boluarte must now ensure that the security forces' crackdown does not escalate further. Otherwise, her days in office are likely numbered.

Predictions