Peru's new president pledges elections amid deadly protests
Peru's new president, Dina Boluarte, announced on Monday that she would propose to Congress to bring general elections two years earlier than expected, after the removal of Pedro Castillo sparked protests.
But that had little effect as protesters continued to demand her resignation, blocking roads in several cities around the country with logs, rocks and burning tires.
At least seven people died in demonstrations against Boluarte, who replaced Castillo last week following a Congress vote to oust him.
The elections were initially scheduled for 2026.
Boluarte became Peru's first-ever female president and the country's sixth leader in five years.
Castillo, who has been detained since his sacking, said in a handwritten letter posted on his Twitter account that he was "kidnapped."
He decried Boluarte's early election pledge as a "dirty game," and described her as a "usurper."
Castillo insisted that he would not resign as president. The former teacher-turned-president was ousted by lawmakers last Wednesday shortly after he announced that he would dissolve Congress in a bid to avoid impeachment.
Protests rock rural Peru
Protesters had taken to the streets, mostly in Castillo's stronghold rural areas, to demand new elections. Some of the demonstrators have also called for the dissolving of Congress.
In the southern-central region of Apurimac, civil and Indigenous groups called for an indefinite strike starting Monday. Major mines, including one owned by a Chinese firm, are in the region.
Protesters also blocked access to an international airport in Arequipa, in southern Peru, on Monday.
fb/wd (AFP, AP, Reuters)