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HomeGlobal NewsPeru Police Clash With Protesters as President Boluarte Seeks Expanded Powers

Peru Police Clash With Protesters as President Boluarte Seeks Expanded Powers

During an Independence Day speech in Lima, Boluarte said she would request legislative powers from Congress for 120 days to fight crime. She said she was open to reverting Congress to a two-chamber legislature from a single-chamber format.

“(These are) measures Peru needs to face, with more strength and efficiency, delinquency and crime,” Boluarte said.

Protesters attempted to reach Congress but were held back by police after a brief clash. Crowds began to disperse as Boluarte’s three-hour long speech drew to a close.

The Congress is dominated by right-wing parties and has a single-digit approval rating.

Boluarte, who succeeded leftist Pedro Castillo after he was removed from office and jailed last December, has faced waves of protests in which more than 60 people have died in at times violent clashes with Peruvian security forces.

“I call for a grand national reconciliation between all Peruvians,” Boluarte said, adding that ideological differences shouldn’t “lead us to live in a society of enemies, reigned by unnecessary and irreconcilable antagonism.”

The deadly clashes between demonstrators and security forces have led to more protests and allegations of human rights abuses against Boluarte, who is facing multiple investigations for her actions during the strife.

The demonstrations died down after February and have struggled to regain momentum. The latest protests have been dubbed “the third takeover of Lima” and are the culmination of people coming from Peru’s poorer south to protest in the capital Lima since last week.

An opinion poll in July by the Institute of Peruvian Studies showed 80% of the electorate wants early elections and 75% want Boluarte to resign. The next elections are scheduled for 2026.

Boluarte has called the renewed protests a “threat against democracy” but in Friday’s speech she apologized to family members of civilians, police and military members killed.

“With deep and painful consternation, I ask for forgiveness on behalf of the state,” Boluarte said, adding that “there won’t be impunity for anyone.”

She said the legislative powers she seeks would also be used to combat the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon that has already caused heavy rains and damage throughout Peru.

Source : France24

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