Protests calling for President Castillo’s resignation continue in Peru

Lima, Apr 9 (EFE).- A large number of Peruvians returned to the streets on Saturday to demand the resignation of President Pedro Castillo over rising fuel costs that have hit the economy recovering from the Covid-19 impact and lockdowns.

Hundreds of demonstrators thronged the streets of the capital Lima and Peru’s third-largest city, Trujillo, a day after Castillo said the political crisis had ended in the South American country.

The protesters also shouted slogans against the country’s Congress amid a rift between the government and the legislature.

Dressed in white and red colors of the national flag, the protesters resorted to heavy sloganeering, asking the president to step down.

Carrying banners and megaphones, the protesters described the parliament as a “trash Congress” and demanded its closure.

Unlike on previous occasions, the demonstrations were peaceful.

In northern Trujillo, the capital of La Libertad, protesters called for Castillo’s resignation as they paraded through the streets, carrying a big Peruvian flag.

In a sign that the political crisis in Peru was far from over, Prime Minister Aníbal Torres alleged that Congress had “distorted” the bill to eliminate value-added taxes on some basic foods items.

Torres said Congress exempted a series of luxury foods from taxes as part of a bill that sought to protect the basic food basket of the most disadvantaged.

Congress exempted “goose, pheasant, guinea fowl, imported meat, condensed milk, lasagna, ravioli, among others” from the VAT.

He said such a decision by parliament could cause a loss of more than $800 million and asked Congress to correct “the wrong.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent Western sanctions to punish Moscow have impacted the global markets and soared oil prices.

In Peru, rising fuel costs and prices of essentials amid a shortage have triggered a wave of anti-government protests that began last week.

At least six people have died over the days of protests, said the Peruvian authorities.

The government has called for calm as it struggled to contain the situation with truckers also on strike major roadblocks.


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