Peru: Calls for interim president to resign, three die in protest crackdown | News | DW | 15.11.2020
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Peru: Calls for interim president to resign, three die in protest crackdown

Thousands of people have taken to the streets across several Peruvian cities as citizens vented their frustrations at the impeachment of Martin Vizcarra. Congress has urged interim president Manuel Merino to step down.

A violent crackdown on protesters angry at the recent removal of President Martin Vizcarra left at least three people dead and 13 injured in Peru on Saturday.

Thousands of people took to the streets in several cities to protest against the impeachment of Vizcarra, who was ousted on Monday over a corruption scandal.

The head of Peru's Congress, Luis Valdez, called Saturday night for the "immediate resignation" of interim President Manuel Merino over the violent crackdown on protests.

As a result of the furor, Congress called an emergency session. Lawmakers will meet on Sunday morning, in person, the Twitter account of the government's legislative branch said.

Unrest escalates

For the sixth consecutive day, demonstrations were reported in Lima and other cities.

Read more: Are corrupt politicians behind Peru's palm oil plantations?

Police again used tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the unrest in the Peruvian capital. The newspaper El Comercio reported some glass pellets were used in the crackdown.

Authorities said two of the three deaths were men aged 24 and 25, who succumbed to gunshot wounds received during the demonstrations.

Amnesty International and local United Nations representatives have in recent days accused the police of using excessive force in their efforts to quell the unrest.

Corruption allegations

Recently deposed President Vizcarra is accused of taking 2.3 million soles ($636,000, €537,000) in bribes from a construction firm while he was governor of the Moquegua region from 2011 to 2014.

Vizcarra has vehemently denied the allegations and repeated his innocence prior to the impeachment vote. He has accused the opposition of trying to destabilize the country.

Watch video 00:51

'The situation is very tense' – Johan Ramirez reports from Lima

jsi/mm (AP, AFP, dpa, EFE)

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