Monday, January 30, 2023

Boluaarte says he will not resign despite deadly protests

LIMA ( Associated Press) – Peru’s president has denied she is going to resign from office, as various groups claim they were involved in protests against the mobilization that left nearly fifty people dead. Dina Boluarte took power in December for trying to dissolve Congress after ousting her predecessor, Pedro Castillo.

“I will not resign. My commitment is to Peru and not to the small group that is bleeding the country,” Boluaarte said in a televised message Friday night.

He referred to those calling for his resignation as “some voices that emanate from the violent and radical” and who “are inciting the population to anarchy, disorder and destruction.”

Furthermore, he apologized for the deaths in the mobilization.

“I cannot fail to reiterate my regret for the deaths of Peruvian men and women in the protests, both our civilian compatriots and the brave policemen who lost their lives in an unfortunate manner. I apologize for this situation and for whatever was not done to avoid these tragic events,” the president said.

“If we have made mistakes with the aim of achieving peace and tranquility, I apologize to the Peruvian people. We will know how to overcome and rectify”, he stressed at the end of the message.

In his speech, he questioned the seizure of airports and highways, attacks on ambulances, the looting of shopping centers and the ransacking of shops as part of the protests.

Boluaarte urged Congress to expedite approval to hold elections as soon as possible, one of the mobilization’s demands. Parliament is pending a second vote to install him in 2024, which would cut the mandates of the executive and legislative branches by two years. Several groups are demanding that they be held this year.

“This president does not want or has the intention to remain in power,” he said, adding that he asked the chamber to advance the date of the vote so that “the population knows a definite date that we already have time to decide”. There are elections before.”

On the other hand, he rejected a request to close Congress, one of the protesters’ claims, alleging that to do so without following the constitution “would be to walk outside the law.”

In addition, he questioned the demand to hold a Constituent Assembly, using neighboring Chile as an example “where the constituent process has lasted for many years and a new process has been opened, in the face of citizens’ disapproval”. It cannot be done overnight.”

In response to requests to release Castillo, Boluaarte recalled that the matter was in the hands of justice.

Mobilizations, strikes and roadblocks were recorded in 44 provinces on Friday, most of them in the country’s southern regions, the ombudsman’s office said in an evening report. In addition, it identified 83 blockade points on national roads and a violent incursion and burning of a water pump belonging to the Antapaque company in Cusco.

According to the ombudsman’s office, as of Friday afternoon, 49 people were killed in the protests against Bolourat, including 41 civilians killed in clashes, one policeman burned to death after an attack, and seven civilians who died related to traffic accidents and road blockades. Others died in accidents.

The protests have gained new momentum since they resumed last week after a partial break for the New Year holidays. Among the protesters are those demanding the release of Castillo, who has been in pre-trial detention for 18 months while being investigated for alleged insurrection.

Boluaarte took office after Castillo, who was president through 2021, was ousted by Congress after he tried to dissolve the institution in a televised message on December 7. The President assumes the office of Vice President and is elected on the same list with his predecessor. Parliament swore him in on the same day that Castillo was deposed as his constitutional successor.

Castillo was arrested while he was walking with his convoy in a street in the center of Lima. According to the prosecutor’s office, he was on his way to the Mexican embassy to seek political asylum.

Nation World News Desk
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