Protests, roadblocks resume in Peru’s political crisis

Lima, Jan 5 (EFE).- Protesters have set up roadblocks on one of Peru’s most important highways in a second day of demonstrations against the government of the country’s new president Dina Boluarte. 

Picket holders had gathered at sections of the Panamericana Sur highway in the department of Ica, located to the south of Lima, the capital, traffic authorities said. 

 Protesters gather on a road in Tinta, Cusco, Peru on January 4, 2021. EFE/ Aldair Mejía

Local media reports that demonstrators had built blocks with stones, sticks and tires to prevent traffic from moving down the highway, which connects Lima with the country’s south, a hotspot for protests calling for Boluarte to resign and for fresh elections. 

Peru’s national police on Wednesday evening said roadblocks were holding up public and private transport traveling south to Ica, Arequipa, Cuzco and Tacna. 

The anti-government protests returned Wednesday after a truce over the Christmas period

In Lima, hundreds of people gathered in the city’s historic center and attempted to march towards Congress before they were dispersed by police, who used tear gas. 

In other cities such as Huancayo, Piura and Ayacucho, protesters also called for the resignation of Boluarte over the police crackdown on previous demonstrations that left a total of 28 dead in Peru. 

Peruvian traffic authorities reported roadblocks in 30 points of the country, the majority in the southern Puno region on the Bolivian border. 

Peru’s latest protest began in December after Boluarte took over the presidency from the now jailed Pedro Castillo after he tried to close parliament, intervene in the judiciary and rule by decree. EFE

dub/jt