Protesters clash with police in an attempt to take over the airport in Puno

Protesters clash with police in an attempt to take over the airport in Puno

Dozens of protesters tried to seize an airport near Peru’s border with Bolivia on Friday as part of anti-government protests, prompting police to use tear gas to disperse them.

Protesters set a police tank on fire outside the Inca Manco Capac airport in Juliaca, in the Puno region of Peru, according to images on social media and local television.

Protests against President Dina Boluarte resumed this week after a two-week hiatus, following violent clashes in December that left 22 dead following the ouster and detention of former President Pedro Castillo.

The Puno media reported 15 injuries, including two policemen. The Health Ministry did not immediately confirm the reports.

Aeropuertos Andinos del Perú, which operates the Juliaca airport, said services were suspended “due to the violent acts and lack of security.”

In December, protesters forced the temporary closure of three airports in Peru.

The demonstrators demand the resignation of Boluarte, the closure of Congress, constitutional changes and the release of Castillo. The former president is serving 18 months in preventive detention while he is investigated for “rebellion” after trying to illegally close Congress, a charge he denies.

Up to 49 protest points on Friday

On Friday, up to 49 blockade points were reported in different regions of the country, an increase compared to the previous day, the Ombudsman’s Office reported in a statement.

In the Ica region of Peru’s central coast, protesters blocked a key highway, stranding dozens of passenger and cargo transport vehicles.

“We already supported the strike last year, we have been unemployed for about 10 days and the truth is with the pandemic and everything that has happened we want to continue working,” said José Palomino, a driver affected by the roadblock.

The attorney general’s office said Friday it was evaluating the allegations against Boluarte and three of his ministers and would launch an investigation into the deaths that occurred during the December protests if necessary.

The human rights group accused security forces of using deadly firearms and lobbing smoke bombs at protesters, who the army says used homemade weapons and explosives.

Boluarte welcomed the prosecutor’s announcement on Twitter and wrote that “she will provide all the appropriate resources for the prompt clarification of the facts, as she has repeatedly requested.”

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Written by Editor TLN


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