Peru protests: At least 20 injured in clashes, days after president’s ouster
At least 20 people, including four police officers, were injured on Saturday in clashes between protesters and police in the southern Peruvian city of Andahuaylas in the Andes.
The Ombudsman’s Office said on Twitter it was working with health personnel to verify if the injured had received “adequate medical care in the city hospital” but did not give details of the injuries.
It said a number of people had been detained but did not say say how many.
Meanwhile, the National Police reported that two police officers who were taken captive by the protesters had now been released and were being evaluated by medical personnel.
The reason for Saturday’s protest is not yet clear, but Andahuaylas is one of several towns in the country where residents took to the streets this Friday in support of former President Pedro Castillo who was ousted earlier this week, according to information provided to the media by the Ministry of Interior.
Castillo was removed from power on Wednesday after he attempted to dissolve Peru’s Congress and call for new elections. He was arrested for the alleged crime of rebellion and impeached by lawmakers in a single day.
Peruvian lawmakers described the move as a coup, and a majority of the 130-person Congress voted to impeach Castillo on the same day, which ended with the swearing in of Dina Boluarte to the top position.
Peru’s new President ruled out early elections on Thursday on her first day in office following the dramatic ousting and arrest of her predecessor.
Castillo is also currently under a seven-day preliminary arrest ordered by the Supreme Court on Thursday after considering him as a flight risk.
Castillo has faced a cascade of investigations on whether he used his position to benefit himself, his family and closest allies by peddling influence to gain favor or preferential treatment, among other claims.
He has repeatedly denied all allegations and reiterated his willingness to cooperate with any investigation. He argues the allegations are a result of a witch-hunt against him and his family from groups that failed to accept his election victory.
The Ombudsman Office reiterated its “call to the population not to resort to violent means during their protests” and asked the National Police that “any action to restore public order must be carried out within the framework of the law of use of force.”