, Peru announces a state of emergency, asks Castillo to serve 18 months in prison -

Peru announces a state of emergency, asks Castillo to serve 18 months in prison

Peru announced a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday, granting police special powers and limiting freedoms including the right to assembly, after a week of fiery protests that have left at least eight dead.

The protest were sparked by the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo on Dec. 7 in an impeachment vote. Castillo, a leftist elected in 2021, was arrested after illegally trying to dissolve the Andean nation’s Congress, the latest in a series of political crises the world’s second-largest copper producer has faced in recent years.

Castillo, who is accused of rebellion and conspiracy, would be held in pretrial detention for 18 months, the prosecution stated on Wednesday. The Supreme Court of Peru convened to discuss the request, but the meeting was eventually called to adjourn until Thursday.

After Castillo was removed from office, Dina Boluarte, his former vice president, was sworn into office. Her presidency has polarized other Latin American leaders.

In the Andean nation, particularly in the rural and mining districts that helped elect the former peasant farmer and teacher to power in July of last year, the political upheaval has triggered irate and occasionally violent protests.

According to authorities, eight people—mostly teenagers—have perished in altercations with the police. A minimum of six people were shot, according to rights organizations. Airports have been overrun by protesters, who have also burned down buildings and blocked highways.

According to Boluarte’s defense minister, Alberto Otarola, “we have agreed to proclaim a state of emergency throughout the country due to the acts of destruction and violence.”

This calls for a robust response from the government,” he said, adding that doing so would result in the suspension of some liberties, such as the freedom of assembly and the right to travel, and would allow officials to search residences without a warrant.

Credit: Rueters

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