Peru is in a state of emergency this Thursday. While the demonstrations launched since the dismissal of President Pedro Castillo, which left seven dead and 200 injured, have not weakened, “the state of emergency is declared throughout the country for thirty days […] We need an energetic response with authority” in the face of the violence, Defense Minister Alberto Otarola launched on Wednesday, stressing that the measure included “the suspension of freedom of movement and assembly” with “possibility of a curfew”. “The police with the support of the armed forces will have control of the entire territory”, he specified, the state of emergency notably allowing the army to intervene in the maintenance of order.
The violent demonstrations have gone crescendo since the dismissal of the head of state. In addition to the release of Pedro Castillo, the demonstrators demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte – from the same Radical Left Party as him – and the dissolution of Parliament. The government had already declared a state of emergency on Monday in several provinces, then extended it on Tuesday.
The former president will remain in prison in his barracks located in Até (east of Lima). The judge who was to rule on Wednesday on the request for preventive detention of 18 months filed by the prosecution during the night, granted a deadline to the defense. But he kept the president in custody for another 48 hours. The Supreme Court had ordered on December 7 the provisional detention of Mr. Castillo for seven days. It was supposed to be released on Wednesday. The ex-president, who had sworn never to give up during a previous hearing, had called on his supporters to welcome him on his release from prison.
“I hold you, judges and prosecutors, responsible for what is happening in the country. Only the people save the people,” he concludes. In front of the barracks, a hundred people chanted slogans in his favour. “We will stay here until our president comes out and returns to his presidential chair at the palace,” promises Roxana Figueroa, 59, a social worker.