LIMA ( Associated Press) — A Peruvian police officer was burned to death while on patrol during anti-government demonstrations in the Puno region, a police officer said Tuesday.
Demonstrations that began early last December following the ousting of Pedro Castillo as president have already included 47 deaths, according to the ombudsman’s office count: 39 civilians in clashes with law enforcement, the other seven due to traffic and road accidents. Accidents or incidents involving blockades and fallen policemen.
Petty Officer Jose Luis Sonco Quispe, 29, was on patrol Monday night in a patrol car in Puno in the city of Juliaca with a colleague when, according to police reports, they were attacked by a mob that later set the vehicle on fire Gave. Fire. ,
“A charred body was found (near the patrol car) that has not yet been fully identified,” Peru’s interior ministry said in a press release Tuesday morning. Later, the authorities assured that it was Sonko’s body.
According to the police report, Sonko’s partner in the patrol car, non-commissioned officer Ronald Villasante Toke, indicated that “he was detained and physically assaulted by approximately 350 protesters” and that at the time, he was unaware of the situation with the other police. Officer.
After being diagnosed with a polycontusion and multiple head injuries, Villasante, who suffered multiple concussions, was transferred to Lima for hospital treatment.
The prime minister, Alberto Otarola, confirmed Sonko’s death at a session of Congress, where he presented his management plan and asked for a parliamentary vote of confidence, which he would need to validate the ministerial cabinet appointed by Boluaarte and continue in office. Needed.
“He was attacked by the demonstrators for a long distance and (…) the police who arrived at the scene found that one policeman had been beaten and handcuffed and the other, second class subordinate José Luis Sonco Quispe, unfortunately died Yes, he’s dead.” Burnt I live in his patrol car. I condemn this aggression against the forces of order, ”he declared.
In addition, he announced a curfew in Puno from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am for three days and a national labor mourning was declared on Wednesday, as well as “a half-mast for the flag in tribute and respect”. ” Fallen.”
On Monday afternoon, the ombudsman’s office reported mobilizations, strikes and roadblocks in 33 provinces, with 55 blockage points on national roads.
In addition, it reported burning a patrol car in Juliaca, burning a module of a court in Angaras province in the Huancavelica region in Peru’s central highlands, and damaging a courthouse in the town of Apurimac. , the region of the south of the country.
The prosecutor’s office said it was moving forward with an investigation against Boluaarte and some of his senior officials.
The head of the unit, Patricia Benavides, ordered the opening of a preliminary investigation against the President, against Prime Minister Otrola and against Ministers Víctor Rojas and César Cervantes – of the Interior -, Jorge Chávez – of Defense – and Pedro Angulo – the former Prime Minister. gave. – For alleged crimes of genocide, manslaughter and serious injuries in protests in the regions of Apurimac, La Libertad, Puno, Junín, Arequipa and Ayacucho.
The protests – which demand the advancing of general elections, the resignation of Boluaarte and the shutdown of Congress – gained new momentum after resuming last Wednesday after a partial break for the year-end holidays.
In Juliaca, protests have intensified since Friday, when hundreds of protesters tried to take over the airport but were stopped by law enforcement.
Juliaca Airport maintains a suspension of its operations due to this violence.
Among the protesters demanding the resignation of the president, the shutdown of Congress and new elections are those who also demand that Castillo, Bolurat’s predecessor, who was dismissed and placed on preventive detention for eight months while investigating an alleged insurrection be in custody.
Boluaarte took over the government after Castillo, who was president through 2021, was ousted by Congress on December 7 after trying to dissolve the state’s power with a televised message. The current President was the Vice President and was 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 in a vehicle with his entourage on an avenue in the center of Lima. According to the prosecutor’s office, he was on his way to the Mexican embassy to seek political asylum.