It is with great sadness that we bring you the tragic situation unfolding in Peru, where protests can be deadly when hundreds of protesters took into the streets demanding the resignation of the president Manuela Boluarte and new elections to succeed her, as well as Congress. The protests have been the result of growing discontent over Boluarte’s government. The result has been an erosion in democratic rights, and lack of progress on important socio-economic issues like inequality and poverty. We mourn the loss life and send our deepest condolences to the families of those who have died in recent incidents.
1. How did Boluarte make the decision to quit?
The sudden resignation of Peru’s president Martin Vizcarra and proposed moving ahead with elections until April 2024 has sparked much deliberation and discussion. The ongoing protests and unrest concerning the state’s response the COVID-19 disease along with other public concerns led to this choice. The President’s behavior in recent months Vizcarra’s handling of the pandemic along with his involvement with political actors had made him less popular. The president’s resignation came as a result of a confidence vote which was scheduled for Congress which opponents have described as an “coup” because of the lack of legal proceedings.
2. How did the demonstrations turn deadly?
Civil unrest in Peru is an ongoing issue. President Francisco Sagasti proposed that the election be delayed from the month of June 2025 until April 2024 to allow citizens to have a faster resolution. The protests and demonstrations that have been ongoing for many months have been mostly quiet, but they’ve recently become violent due to the police force’s use of brutality and force to stop the unrest. When Peruvian citizens attempt to modify the policy of their government, it has been accompanied by a growing anger from the general public.
3. How was Peru’s reaction to Boluarte’s resignation announcement?
The reaction of the public towards Marta Lourdes Boluarte, Peruvian president, quitting in the backdrop of protests from the masses were one of joy. A lot of people wanted change , and they voted with their hearts when it was announced that the elections were scheduled to be moved until April 20, 2024. The news of an early election could be seen as an opportunity for the public to express their displeasure over the current administration and express their wish for a new set of leadership. Though the announcement of an election scheduled for early was widely welcomed but there were a few who were wary of the implications of such a move in the fear that it would lead to further conflict and turmoil. The response to Boluarte’s resignation and his proposed election date was one of cautious optimism.
4. How have protests impacted the president and the country?
The protests in Peru have been ongoing since November 2020, has caused a lot of damage to Peru’s government as well as on the country in general. To address the protests, President Per Peruvian president has proposed a constitutional reform to move into the general elections in April 2024, which is two years earlier than previously planned. The proposed reform is intended to change the government and increase political stability. It also responds to the demands of protesters. Protests have also led to a major interruption to economic activity in the country. There was an estimated $6 billion loss to GDP as well as over 1 million lost jobs due to business interruptions.
In the end, the citizens of Peru send a clear message to their governments to let them know that they are not happy over the leadership of the present administration and the policies taken following the resignation of President Pedro Castillo. Many are calling for the resignation and reinstatement of president Pedro Castillo. They’ve been staging peaceful protests over the past few weeks to voice their dissatisfaction. Protests won’t be able to stop anytime soon as the people call for better representation and change. We can create positive changes through peaceful protest if all voices are united, like in Peru.