Protestors demand elections in Peru, president's resignation
By James Blears
The air was still pungent with clouds of police tear gas rounds blotting out the searing bright sunshine.
The protesters blocked many of the main roads of Lima, staging sit-down sessions in the plaza in front of the Congress building.
They are demanding the immediate resignation of President Dina Boluarte, the dissolution of Congress, and immediate elections.
Peru's first female president, who was promoted from vice president and hurriedly sworn in on 7 December demurs.
In a fiery and defiant speech, she condemned the violence, which has already killed more than fifty people in the south of the country, vowing that those who have sown and perpetrated it will be put on trial according to the process of the law, and jailed if found guilty.
She is accusing protesters of fermenting violence reaping and harvesting its consequences, holding firm on her pledge to bring forward and conduct elections next year, while thousands of riot police are backing up her authority. The elections were due to take place in 2026.
Swelling numbers of protesters
As night fell, running street battles pockmarked Lima, with the protesters adding to their numbers, thousands of police holding them off, and the stalemate set to continue through the weekend.
Meanwhile, former President Pedro Castillo, who had tried unsuccessfully to dissolve Congress, is still in prison, accused of rebellion.
Congress turned on him and had him arrested, and he has been denied bail. His trial has yet to be set, as the crisis deepens.
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