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At least 17 killed in Peru as anti-government protests escalate near airport

Officials have confirmed that at least 17 people were killed in protests against the government in South Peru.

Henry Rebaza, a local health minister, said that the clashes in Juliaca in Puno left 68 people hurt.

Puno’s regional director of health, Ismael Cornejo, stated that two teens were among the victims and that some bodies suffered bullet wounds.

This is the most violent day of protests against Pedro Castillo (the country’s former president), which ended in December. They demand early elections and call for Castillo’s release.


Alberto Otarola, the country’s prime Minister, stated that thousands of protestors tried to infiltrate Juliaca’s Airport. Images showed demonstrators firing slingshots at police.

Rebaza stated that 28 officers sustained injuries and could not be evacuated from the Airport.

Reuters reported that a witness recorded footage of shots and smoke in Juliaca’s streets. Protesters took cover behind large metal plates or road signs.

Separate footage captured people performing CPR on a man lying motionless in a blood-stained sweater. Also, individuals with severe injuries were seen in a waiting area at a hospital.

Castillo was arrested and expelled after illegally trying to disintegrate parliament in order to avoid losing an impeachment vote.

Dina Boularte, the country’s former vice-president, was then sworn into office as its leader. However, pro-Castillo protesters and police have clashed since then.

Officials have confirmed that 39 people have been killed and many others have been injured since the protests started in December.

The Ombudsman Office in Peru, also known as Peru’s Human Rights Office, has asked for international standards for the use of force by police and for investigations into deaths. It also asked protestors to refrain from setting up roadblocks or attacking property that might hinder the movement ambulances.

Officials said that a newborn died in the ambulance being transported from Yunguyo (southeast of Juliaca) to a local hospital. The delay was due to a street blockade.

Castillo was elected in 2019 and is currently serving 18 months pre-trial detention for rebellion charges, which he denies.

Protesters also demand the closing of Congress and amendments to the Constitution.


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