Peru’s anti-government protesters clash with police in Puno | News complaining

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Protesters are calling for the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, who took office last month after removing Pedro Castillo.

Dozens of anti-government protesters have clashed with police in southern Peru amid renewed unrest following the removal and detention of former President Pedro Castillo.

The protesters tried to take over the airport and the police used tear gas to disperse them, Reuters news agency said. Demonstrators set fire to a police tank outside the Inca Manco Capac airport in Juliaca, in Peru’s Puno region late Friday, according to local media reports and images circulating on social media. social media.

Demonstrations against the new President Dina Boluarte began this week after a two-week hiatus. In December, there was a violent conflict, leaving 22 people dead, after Castillo was fired, arrested and detained.

News outlets in Puno reported that 15 people were injured in Friday’s protests. Three officers were injured in the clashes and flown to Lima, the capital, for treatment, police said Saturday. More than 40 people have been injured since protests resumed on Wednesday, the health ministry said.

Airport services were suspended “due to acts of violence and lack of security”, according to Peru’s Andean Airports, which operates the Juliaca airport.

Protesters forced the temporary closure of three airports in Peru in December.

The protesters are calling for the removal of Boluarte, who took over on December 7 after the country’s opposition Congress voted overwhelmingly to remove Castillo. The demonstrators are also demanding the closure of Congress, constitutional changes and the release of Castillo.

Castillo is serving 18 months in pre-trial detention while under investigation on charges of “rebellion” after illegally trying to shut down Congress, which he says to deny.

As many as 49 checkpoints were reported on Friday in different regions of the country, an increase from the previous day, the Office of the Ombudsman said in a statement.

Al Jazeera’s Mariana Sanchez, reporting from Apurímac, Peru, said hundreds of farmers were involved in protests there on Friday.

Demonstrators told Al Jazeera that they wanted former President Castillo’s campaign policies to be carried out by the government.

“We want President Dina Boluarte to resign. She doesn’t represent us,” said activist Lidia Pillaca.

In the region of Ica, on the central coast of Peru, protesters blocked a main road, crossing dozens of vehicles transporting passengers and goods.

“We have already supported last year’s strike, we have been out of work for about 10 days and the truth is, with the pandemic and all that been there, we want to continue working,” said Jose Palomino, a driver affected by the roadblock.

The attorney general’s office said Friday it was evaluating complaints against Boluarte and three of her ministers and, if appropriate, would launch an investigation into the deaths that occurred during the December protests.

A human rights group has accused security forces of using lethal weapons and firing smoke bombs at protesters, who the army says used homemade weapons and explosives.

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