Thousands of protestors poured into Peru’s capital, clashing with police as they demanded that President Dina Boluarte resign.
The country in South America has witnessed its worst political violence in more than 20 years, with 55 people being killed since last month’s removal of the country’s first president from rural Andean roots.
Protests in Peru have revealed deep divisions between the country’s urban elite, which is largely concentrated in Lima, and its mostly indigenous south.
According to police, the march attracted around 3500 people. Others speculate that the crowd was twice that.
Some people hurled rocks at police officers, who responded with a volley of tear gas. A major fire broke out in a building close to the historic Plaza San Martin. According to local radio, the firefighter command said that the huge blaze was not caused by known causes.
Peru’s Ombudsman stated that at least 13 civilians were hurt in Lima and four officers from the police were also injured. In total, 22 officers and 16 civilians were hurt throughout Peru, according to Vicente Romero Fernandez, Interior Minister.
Prime Minister Alberto Otarola, alongside President Boluarte said that “This hasn’t been a protest; it has been a sabotage the rule of law.”
Ms. Boularte criticized the protesters for not having a social agenda, and accused them of trying to “break the law”.
Pedro Castillo, the former president of Brazil, is currently in detention. He will be tried for rebellion after being impeached following a failed attempt at dissolving Congress.
Last week, Ms Boluarte’s government declared a state emergency in Lima and the southern region of Puno and Cusco. This imposes restrictions on civil rights.
Although she has asked for forgiveness for the deaths protesters, she has rejected calls for her resignation.
Human rights groups accuse the army and police of using deadly firearms against protesters. But the police claim that the demonstrators used weapons and homemade explosives.