Castillo deployed in Peru to defuse political crisis

Lima, Apr 7 (EFE).- Peru’s president Pedro Castillo tried Thursday to defuse the political crisis in the country with a meeting of the council of ministers at the epicenter of the truckers’ protests, while a state of emergency was issued for highways and his supporters took to the streets of Lima.

Castillo began the day with an open meeting of the council of ministers in the city of Huncayo, which last week was the center of the protests for the now 10-day trucker strike.

There, he apologized for previously stating that “some leaders and ringleaders” had been paid to carry out the strike and encouraged people to take to the streets to protest peacefully.

“I want to express my sincere apologies to this Huanca land and to Peru if at any time there has been any misunderstood expression,” said the president.

Faced with the demands of the demonstrators, he also promised to present a bill prohibiting fuel monopolies, hoarding, speculation and price fixing.

In a similar order, he announced that the government will work on another legislative initiative aimed at reducing the salaries of high-ranking State officials.

The government also declared a state of emergency on the National Road Network for 30 days and restricted constitutional rights such as free transit.

The measure was announced in a decree published in the official newspaper El Peruano, which detailed that “the National Police of Peru maintains control of internal order, with the support of the Armed Forces” in the emergency zones.

Meanwhile, members of the Unitary Union of Workers in Education of Peru (Sutep) and the General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP) marched peacefully through downtown Lima in support of the government.

CGTP secretary general Gerónimo López Sevillano told to Efe that they took to the streets to defend Castillo, who “was democratically elected” by “embodying the sentiments of the Peruvian people” who “have suffered 30 years of neoliberal economic power.”

“There is a fascist, caveman right that does not let the government govern to make those changes. That is why today we are going to Congress to repudiate those parties that are only dedicated to obstructing the executive and do not implement any change,” he said.

The secretary general of Sutep, Lucio Castro Chipana, recalled that he supported Castillo in his candidacy for president because he was convinced that “a teacher would understand and prioritize that sector.”

However, he warned: “We mobilize today to warn you and tell you that, if you do not rectify and return to the path of alliance with the workers and pay attention to your commitments, what is going to come soon is the demand for resignation.” EFE


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