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Peru: Motion to remove president filed, protests continue

January 26, 2023

The bid to remove Boluarte comes amid violent protests following the ousting of former president Pedro Castillo.

Anti-government protesters in Lima
The demonstrations began in early December following the removal and arrest of leftist former President Pedro CastilloImage: Martin Mejia/AP Photo/picture alliance

Lawmakers in Peru filed a motion to remove President Dina Boluarte from office on Wednesday. The move comes as protests, which have led to soaring food and fuel prices, continue unabated.

Leftist lawmakers seek to topple Boluarte

Twenty-eight leftist members of the congress who support leftist former President Pedro Castillo signed the motion, a copy of which Reuters news agency said it has examined.

To file the motion, a minimum of 26 signatures were needed.

The motion now needs to be passed by 52 votes before it can be debated in Congress, where it has to receive support from two-thirds of the chamber.

Peru's President Dina Boluarte speaks
Peru's President Dina Boluarte has called for a "national truce" to end the crisisImage: Angela Ponce/REUTERS

There have been demands for fresh elections since President Boluarte took power.

The president blamed political polarization during Castillo's tenure, as well as drug traffickers and others for the violence on the streets.

"I am not going to surrender to authoritarian groups that want to impose solutions that are not part of our constitutional order or the democratic tradition," Boluarte said recently.

On Tuesday,  Boluarte called for a "national truce" to end the crisis.

Protests continue

Since the anti-government protests began last month at least 47 people have died while hundreds have been injured, according to Peru's ombudsman office.

The demonstrations began in early December following the removal and arrest of Castillo shortly after his attempt to dissolve Congress.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in an effort to control the situation.

Dozens injured in anti-government protests in Peru

Blockades cause shortages of essential items

Meanwhile, dozens of roadblocks hindering freight deliveries to the country's south contributed to shortages of basic products and inflated fuel and food prices.

The blockades also caused the scarcity of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) — the most popular fuel for vehicles and homes in Peru.

"I've already been told there's no more LPG in Arequipa," Alexander Cornejo, one of the almost 7,000 taxi drivers impacted, told a local radio station.

Prices of staple foods like potatoes and tomatoes have tripled in the city of Puno, which has seen some of the worst violence since December 7.

"Vegetables and fruit prices have gone up. Everything has increased, I think the vehicles that supply us should (be allowed to) pass," Jacqueline Flores told AFP news agency in Puno.

Peru still has 85 roadblocks, according to the transportation ministry on Wednesday.

Luis Otsuka, Governor of the Madre de Dios region, warned that if the roadblocks continued he would have to look to Brazil and Bolivia for food and gasoline.

ss/kb (AFP, Reuters)