Peru: Protests cause “nationwide chaos” and more than 50 people have been injured

Dozens were hurt after tensions flared on Friday night when police clashed against protesters at anti-government demonstrations spreading throughout the country.

Local TV footage shows that tear gas was used by police in Lima to disperse demonstrators who were throwing stones and glass bottles at them, while street fires erupted.

According to Vicente Romero, the Interior Minister of the country, approximately 1,500 people attacked the Ilave police station in the Puno area.

Romero stated that a Puno police station was also set on fire.

Eight patients were admitted to Ilave’s hospital with severe injuries. These included broken legs and arms, punctured abdomens, and eye contusions.

According to the report of Peru’s Ombudsman, there had been 58 injuries in protests by late afternoon.

This unrest came after a chaotic day in Lima, where one of Lima’s oldest buildings was set on fire. President Dina Boluarte promised to be tougher against “vandals.”

Officials described the destruction as the “loss of a monumental asset” and said it was a nearly century-old Lima mansion. The causes are being investigated by authorities.

Romero claimed Friday that the blaze had been “duly planned” and “arranged.”

This week, thousands of demonstrators poured into Lima calling for change. They were angered at the rising death toll from protests that took place in Lima on Friday.

Peru has been rocked by protests since December when President Pedro Castillo tried to disband the Legislature to stop an impeachment vote.

Peru’s southern region has been the center of unrest for most of this week.

Glencore’s Antapaccay copper mine in Cusco (GLEN.L), was shut down on Friday by protestors after it was attacked for the third consecutive time.

Demonstrators also attacked the airports of Arequipa and Cusco, as well as Juliaca, in southern Peru, which dealt a blow to Peru’s tourist industry.

It’s a nationwide crisis, it’s impossible to live in such chaos. “We are living in terrible uncertainty, the economy, and vandalism,” stated Leonardo Rojas from Lima.

Six regions have been declared in a state emergency by the government, which has limited civil rights.

Boluarte, however, has rejected calls for her resignation and called for snap elections. Instead, she called for dialogue and promised to punish anyone involved in the unrest.

Boluarte stated that vandalism will be punished by all the laws.

Boluarte was accused by some locals of failing to take action to stop the demonstrations that began on Dec. 7, in protest against Castillo’s ouster.

Rights groups accuse the army and police of firing deadly weapons. Police claim that protesters used homemade explosives and weapons.

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