1674674122 In Peru the protest reveals the divide between Lima and

In Peru, the protest reveals the divide between Lima and the rest of the country

Anti-government demonstration in Lima, January 24, 2023. Anti-government demonstration in Lima January 24, 2023. ANGELA PONCE/ Portal

There are small incendiary devices. Peruvian President Dina Boluarte, while confirming that she has no intention of stepping down, called on her compatriots on Tuesday 24 January for a “national ceasefire”. Demonstrators continue to block the roads in the south of the country, supply problems are getting worse there and the unrest is now spreading to the capital. “I never tire of calling for dialogue, peace and unity,” repeated the President, speaking to an audience of foreign journalists in Lima. His remarks were broadcast live on television. “I have to bring peace to 33 million Peruvians,” she said. Puno is not Peru. »

“Puno is not Peru? ‘ said outraged Carmen Pacari, an Aymara Indian from this Andean town in the south of the country, where the protest movement began seven weeks ago after the attempted coup and the ousting of President Pedro Castillo (left). Carmen traveled by truck to demonstrate in Lima, where a new rally was held on Tuesday. Angry, she waves her Peruvian flag. At his side, history student Oscar Campos is also outraged: “For the government, Peru seems to be limited to the white – and racist – elites of Lima. »

Castillo’s dismissal ‘felt as unfair’

“The current crisis, comments Adriana Urrutia, President of the Transparencia association, results from the overlapping of several conflicts. One of them is the one between Lima on the coast and the rest of the country. It’s not new. David Sulmont, professor of political sociology at the Catholic University of Lima, explains: “A year ago, the poor provinces in the south of the country overwhelmingly voted for Pedro Castillo, a humble teacher [issu des Andes]. Castillo was a very bad president, he attempted a coup. But his sacking was seen as an injustice by his constituents, who historically feel politically unrepresented in Lima. The capital has just elected a far-right mayor, Rafael Lopez Aliaga.

The violence of the police repression has completely discredited Dina Boluarte, the vice president who became head of state on December 7th. Almost 50 demonstrators have been killed since the mobilization began. Not a single one in Lima. On Tuesday, Ms Boluarte asked for “forgiveness for the dead” and announced that prosecutors would open an investigation. “But neither they nor any minister have resigned,” said David Sulmont. It has never been seen. »

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