Dressed in the jersey of the Peruvian national soccer team or wearing white clothing, about a thousand Peruvians marched on Friday afternoon (Dec. 16) in the capital Lima to show their support for the Armed Forces and the National Police.
This happened in the context of the anti-government protests of recent days in various parts of the country, in which 20 people have died, and more than 200 police officers have been injured.
Called the “March for Peace” and convened by civil organizations, participants demanded an end to violence and thanked the law enforcement agencies for their work to maintain security in the country.
“National Police, pride of Peru”, “Terrorism never again,” and “Peru, I love you, that’s why I defend you” were some of the cries of the citizens, who carried white balloons as a symbol of peace.
The participants gathered in downtown Lima and ended up in San Martín square, where in recent days, demonstrators from various parts of Peru have tried to storm and are calling for the closure of Congress and early elections, as well as the convening of a Constituent Assembly.
Peru has been experiencing days of social and political tension since Dec. 7, the day of the failed self-coup of former President Pedro Castillo, when Congress ousted him, and shortly afterward, he was arrested.
Because of this, Peruvian Justice decreed 18 months of pre-trial detention for the ex-governor.
The vice president, Dina Boluarte, was immediately sworn in as head of state, and three days later, demonstrations, protests, and riots broke out across much of the country.
CASTILLO IS TO SERVE 18 MONTHS
Pedro Castillo will serve 18 months of pre-trial detention in the Barbadillo prison, located in the same police barracks where the also former ruler Alberto Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity, the National Penitentiary Institute (INPE) announced on Friday (Dec. 16).
The agency said in a statement that the decision to keep Castillo in the same place where he had been temporarily detained since Dec. 7 was taken “for security reasons, to protect his personal physical integrity, due to his condition as former president of the Republic.”
In addition, it detailed that the INPE’s Technical Classification Board, made up of a psychologist, a lawyer, and a social worker, first determined that the ex-governor should be framed “in the ordinary regime” of imprisonment.
“The National Penitentiary Institute guarantees the safety and physical integrity of persons deprived of liberty in penitentiary establishments at the national level,” he added.
Judge Juan Carlos Checkley of Peru’s Supreme Preparatory Investigation Court decreed on Thursday (Dec. 15) 18 months of pre-trial detention for the former president while he is investigated for the crimes of rebellion and gang formation for the failed Dec. 7 coup.
In this way, the judge granted the request made by the Public Ministry that had considered that “there is a procedural period of flight,” which had a specific weight to the fact that, minutes before his removal from office, he tried to go to the Mexican embassy in Lima to ask for asylum.
Castillo will be investigated as an alleged co-author of the crimes of rebellion and gang formation, as well as an alleged perpetrator of the crimes of abuse of authority and serious disturbance of public tranquility.
The investigation has been described as “complex” by the Public Ministry and will last eight months.
Government raises to 20 the number of deaths in the protests in Peru
Also on Friday (Dec. 16), the Peruvian Health Ministry confirmed that up to that moment, 20 people died and 63 remained hospitalized after the protests that took place in various parts of the country calling for the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and the closure of Congress, among other demands.
The Peruvian Health Ministry detailed on Twitter that, of the total number of deaths, eight happened in the Ayacucho department, six in Apurímac, three in La Libertad, one in Cusco, another in Junín, and another one in Arequipa.
As for those hospitalized, 26 of them are in Ayacucho.
On Thursday, protesters tried to take over the airport, which prompted the military to open fire on them, as seen in several videos on social networks.
With information from Gazeta do Povo