1 killed in fresh clashes as Peru unrest toll rises to 65

Lima, Jan 28 (EFE).- One person was killed as hundreds of anti-government protesters clashed with the Peruvian police on Saturday in Downtown Lima amid an ongoing nationwide unrest that has roiled the South American country for weeks.

“We regret the death of Víctor Santisteban Yacsavilca in today’s violent demonstrations,” Peru’s ombudsman tweeted.

With this, the death toll due to unrest in Peru has reached 65 since the beginning of the protests in December.

Protesters have been holding almost daily demonstrations across the country since Dec.7, when elected leftist President Pedro Castillo was removed and arrested as he tried to dissolve the legislature and call early elections.

They have been demanding the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and the call for new elections.

The protests have forced Peru into a deepening crisis amid roadblocks on strategic highways.

On Saturday, dozens of demonstrators marched through the streets of the Peruvian capital, chanting anti-government slogans and singing hymns.

Police in riot gear stopped the march and blocked their access to Abancay avenue to the Peruvian congress, resulting in clashes.

While protesters threw stones and bricks at police, the security forces fired tear gas shells to quell them[.

Local media reported that at least six injured officers were in a hospital.

Representatives of social organizations and activists reported on social networks that at least two demonstrators suffered injuries.

Security camera footage from Lima, broadcast by the local media, showed some protesters wearing blue helmets and breaking the edges of sidewalks and front steps of nearby buildings with iron bars.

They collected the remains of concrete and threw them at the police.

Elizabeth, a protester in Plaza Dos de Mayo, told EFE that she arrived in Lima two weeks ago from the province of Yunguyo, in the southern region of Puno bordering Bolivia.

She said the Boluarte government was “a dictatorship” and vowed to protest until their demands were met.

“We do not intend to leave Lima without answers, the solution is the closure of congress, a new constitution and the resignation of Dina Boluarte. We do not intend to go back,” she said.

Another person, who identified himself as Wilfredo Cayllo, told EFE that he came from the Amazon region of Madre de Dios,

“We no longer believe in congress because there are people who do not represent us. We want it to be closed urgently,” he said.

He noted that protesters arrived in Lima of their “own will” and had “no leader.”

Elizabeth and Cayllo affirmed that the violence in the demonstrations was carried out by “infiltrated people” to disturb the peaceful protests.

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