By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
LIMA (Worthy News) – Peru declared a nationwide state of emergency on Wednesday as violent rallies against the overthrow of ex-president Pedro Castillo killed seven people.
The announcement came as a judge ordered Castillo to remain imprisoned on charges of rebellion and conspiracy for another 48 hours before a release hearing.
Castillo’s arrest last week after he tried to dissolve congress and rule by decree has sparked days of nationwide protests that quickly escalated into violence.
Soldiers stood guard as they cleared a roadblock to the airport, created by supporters of ousted Peruvian President Pedro Castillo in Arequipa, dubbed the “legal capital” of Peru.
Defense Minister Alberto Otarola said the new 30-day state of emergency was due to “acts of vandalism and violence, roadblocks.”
He said the measure involved “the suspension of the freedom of movement and assembly” and could include a night-time curfew.
The new president, Dina Boluarte, tried to ease tensions by calling for elections to be brought forward, this time to December 2023.
On Sunday, Boluarte had already said she would seek to advance elections from 2026 to 2024, but that did not appease Castillo’s supporters demanding his release and elections now.
Castillo, a leftist former school teacher, was in power for only 17 months in the South American nation known for political instability. Peru is now on its sixth president in six years.
His short period in office was marked by a power struggle with the opposition-dominated Congress and six investigations into him and his family, mainly for corruption.
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