Police Fired Tear Gas At Peru Protesters Demanding President To Resign
Firefighters have been working to put out a raging inferno that broke out in a building near a protest site in Lima the capital of Peru where police fired tear gas as thousands of protesters poured into the city to demand the removal of president Dina Boluarte.
Demonstrators gathered on Thursday in Lima’s historic downtown area where scuffles broke out with the security forces who battled to stop the protesters from reaching key government buildings, including congress.
A relationship between the fire which raged late into Thursday night and the demonstrations was not immediately clear.
Images showed people rushing to get their belongings out of the building that was close to several government offices.
Police estimated that about 3,500 people participated in the protests, but others claimed the figure was double that estimate.
The mounting death toll from the protests, which broke out last month, now stands at 45.
In a Miraflores park, a large police presence separated the anti-government protesters from a small group of demonstrators expressing support for law enforcement. Police fired tear gas there as well to disperse demonstrators.
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Boluarte was defiant Thursday night in a televised speech alongside key government officials in which she thanked police for controlling the “violent protests” and vowed to prosecute those responsible for violence.
The president also criticized the protests for “not having any kind of social agenda that the country needs,” accused them of “wanting to break the rule of law” and raised questions about their financing.
A total of 22 police officers and 16 civilians were injured Thursday throughout the country, Interior Minister Vicente Romero Fernández said.
Peru’s ombudsman said at least 13 civilians and four police officers were injured in the Lima protests Thursday.
Until recently, the protests had been mainly in Peru’s southern Andes, with a total of 55 people killed in the unrest, mostly in clashes with security forces.
Anger at Boluarte was the common thread Thursday as protesters chanted calls for her resignation and street sellers hawked T-shirts saying, “Out, Dina Boluarte,” “Dina murderer, Peru repudiates you” and “New elections, let them all leave.”