LIMA ( Associated Press) – Peruvian authorities said Friday that they are investigating a fire at an old house in the center of Lima near the center of the first mass protests calling for new general elections and the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and members of parliament. managed to overcome.
Mario Casareto, risk management manager for the municipality of Lima, told state television that 28 people living inside the house were affected. The four-storey house made of mud and cane was partially destroyed in the early 20th century and was in danger of collapsing.
The official indicated that the origin of the fire is unknown, something that Interior Minister Vicente Romero had speculated a day earlier.
More than two dozen fire engines were needed to control the incident which took place during the day time and early morning.
On Thursday, thousands of people from remote areas of the Andes protested in Lima to demand Boluarte’s resignation and support his predecessor Pedro Castillo, in a day that saw clashes with police and two deaths inside the country.
The demonstrations, which have been going on for more than a month and started in the Andes, have left 55 dead and more than 700 injured. President Boluaarte criticized the protests a day earlier as not having “the social agenda the country needs” and questioned who finances the protesters.
“You want to subvert the rule of law, you want to create anarchy and within that chaos and disorder take over the nation. They are wrong,” the president said.
Protests have so far been recorded mainly in the southern Andes and although there have been some protests in Lima this week, Thursday was the largest since the start of the demonstrations.
The protests began after Boluaarte, who had been Castillo’s vice president, was sworn in as the new president on 7 December, despite having promised a year earlier that she would resign if the president was removed. Castillo was removed after a failed attempt to dissolve Congress.
Peru is a highly centralized country and about a third of its 33 million inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Lima.
Boluaarte has said he supports the plan to move the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 2026 to 2024. But many dissidents say no talks are possible with the government that, according to them, has unleashed so much violence.
Activists have dubbed Thursday’s demonstration the “March of the Four Sueyos,” a reference to the four key points of the Inca Empire. It is the same name that received another massive mobilization in the year 2000 when thousands of Peruvians took to the streets to protest against the autocratic government of Alberto Fujimori, who resigned months later.
The protests have escalated to the point that the protesters are unlikely to accept Boluaarte’s resignation. Now they are also calling for a structural reform in the face of a growing crisis of confidence of the ruling elite.