A makeshift street memorial in Ayacucho for students killed in the protests A makeshift street memorial in Ayacucho for students killed in the protests 

Pope Francis prays for Peru amid deepening crisis

As the political crisis deepens in Peru with at least 20 protesters killed, Pope Francis prays that dialogue and peace may prevail over violence.

By James Blears

The crisis in Peru deepens following the impeachment of its leader and ensuing protest demanding elections. 

Ongoing protests have killed 20 people and the death toll is expected to rise.

The new President of Peru Dina Boluarte who replaced impeached President Pedro Castillo, continues to appeal for calm.

Papal appeal for peace

Speaking at the Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis offered his prayers for the Latin American nation.

“We pray for peace. May the violence [in Peru] cease and may the path of dialogue be taken to overcome the political and social crisis affecting the people.”

Ongoing uncertainty

President Boluarte is calling for elections as soon as practically possible. She has criticized Congress for dragging its feet on this.

Protesters are calling for her resignation, but she says not, stressing that this would resolve nothing.

Meanwhile, Mr. Castillo is behind bars and faces quite some time languishing there before facing rebellion charges, which carries a sentence of ten years, if found guilty. 

Peru's Council of State, which includes politicians and senior members of the Church, have met and stated they will go to affected areas, trying to establish a dialogue with demonstrators, pledging elections in the coming year. 

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18 December 2022, 13:46