Lima, Dec 11 (EFE).- Two young people died and an airport was forced to close Sunday amid protests in the Peruvian city of Andahuaylas, the National Human Rights Coordinator (CNDDHH) reported, and as clashes also took place in Lima.
The demonstrations, in which around 30 people were also injured and which have also taken place in other cities including capital Lima, call for general elections and the resignation of President Dina Boluarte.
Boluarte, who was the vice president of Pedro Castillo, was sworn in last Wednesday when Castillo was removed from office after he announced he would dissolve Congress and install an emergency government ahead of an impeachment vote.
“Solidarity and deep sorrow for the deaths of two people: DAQ (15 years old) and Becam Romario Quispe Garfias (18 years old) in the Andahuaylas protest. @PoliciaPeru enough of repression!” CNDDHH wrote on Twitter.
In videos on social media, smoke could be seen billowing from Andahuaylas airport as helicopters flew overhead, and the Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation (Corpac) announced its closure due to the violent unrest.
Corpac said in a statement that the terminal “has been suffering attacks and acts of vandalism” since Saturday afternoon, which have affected the runway and essential equipment.
“They (the protesters) have also set fire to the transmitter room, the fuel room, encircling the air terminal with acts of violence, where 50 members of the Peruvian National Police and collaborators of our company are located,” it said.
In Lima, hundreds of protesters clashed with security forces who used tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Demonstrators also blocked the Panamericana Norte highway in two towns in the department of Lima.
Ombudsman Eliana Revollar told RPP radio station that “the situation of convulsion is growing” and added that “in the face of a situation of this nature, the Executive has to react quickly.”
“We have not seen from the Executive a sense of urgency and reality to be able to respond,” she added.
Boluarte expressed her condolences after the first death Sunday was reported in Andahuaylas.
“The life of no Peruvian deserves to be sacrificed for political interests. I express my condolences for the death of a citizen in Andahuaylas,” she wrote on Twitter.
Boluarte reiterated her “call for dialogue” and to “put an end to violence.”
Amnesty International also reiterated that “law enforcement must guarantee the right to peaceful protest and that the use of force must be strictly proportional. Likewise, the protesters to exercise their right to protest peacefully.”
Protests broke out across in Peru the same day that Castillo was removed from office. EFE