Lima, Jan 9 (EFE).- Twelve people died Monday in new clashes pitting demonstrators against security forces in the southern Peruvian city of Juliaca, bringing to 40 the number killed nationwide since the start of anti-government protests.
The national Ombud’s Office provided this latest death toll less than an hour after stating that nine demonstrators had died.
Last month, confrontations between security forces and opponents of the Dec. 7 ouster of elected head of state Pedro Castillo resulted in 28 deaths, 22 of them attributable to shots fired by police and soldiers.
Castillo, who is facing charges of rebellion and conspiracy for attempting to dissolve Congress and install a new emergency government, is being held in pre-trial detention.
Most of the fatalities followed the transitional government’s imposition of a state of emergency entailing the suspension of some constitutional rights.
The demonstrators continue to demand that current President Dina Boluarte and Congress step down in favor of early general elections, as well as a constitutional convention to draft a replacement for the charter enacted in 1993 under President Alberto Fujimori, who is now serving life in prison for massacres and embezzlement during his 10 years in power.
Separately Monday, the Transport and Communications Ministry said the airport serving the southern city of Ayacucho will suspend operations on Tuesday as a precautionary measure amid the anti-government protests, which have once again erupted following a Christmas-New Year’s truce.
The airport in Juliaca was closed last Friday.
Ten of the 28 deaths in December occurred in Ayacucho when a group of demonstrators tried to force their way to that city’s airport. EFE