Latin America

Peruvian Prime Minister Otarola Says Deadly Riots in Puno Were Orchestrated

Supporters of former President Pedro Castillo clash with riot police during a demonstration demanding his release and the closure of the Peruvian Congress in Lima, on December 11, 2022. InternationalIndiaAfricaMEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otarola stated that the attack on Juliaca airport in the Puno Region (where at least 17 anti-government protesters reportedly died) was a premeditated plot and called on the prosecutor’s office to find and punish those planning a coup.

"Today, more than 9,000 people gathered near the airport, of whom 2,000 participated in a merciless attack on the police and [airport] buildings," the prime minister said in an address broadcast on government social media. "There is information about casualties that we mourn, and those who mulled a coup are directly responsible for this".

According to the Peruvian ombudsman, 17 protesters were killed in a clash near Juliaca Airport, and another victim among the demonstrators was in Chucuito, where a road was blocked. Earlier, the regional health department reported that 12 bodies were brought to the local hospital and 38 people were hospitalized with injuries.

"More than 200 vehicles have been identified that were paid for with illegal money and transported aggressive individuals from various cities… I appeal to the country's prosecutor's office… so that those who destroy the country and are sponsored from abroad, including by dirty money from drug trafficking, are detained and brought to justice," Otarola said.

Pedro Castillo, who served as President of Peru, on December 7 last year dissolved parliament, which was supposed to consider his impeachment for the third time. However, the parliamentarians still gathered for a meeting and decided on the resignation of Castillo. © AP Photo / Franklin BricenoA road sign lays in the street the day after protests that called for the closure of Congress, the resignation of the new President Dina Boluarte and for general elections in Andahuaylas, Peru, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. Peru’s President Pedro Castillo was detained on Dec. 7 after he was ousted by lawmakers when he sought to dissolve Congress ahead of an impeachment vote. A road sign lays in the street the day after protests that called for the closure of Congress, the resignation of the new President Dina Boluarte and for general elections in Andahuaylas, Peru, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. Peru’s President Pedro Castillo was detained on Dec. 7 after he was ousted by lawmakers when he sought to dissolve Congress ahead of an impeachment vote. The military and police spoke out against Castillo’s decision, and he was arrested on charges of sedition and abuse of power. Dina Boluarte, who previously was Vice President, was sworn in as the President of Peru in Congress and became the first woman to hold the post. Supporters of the ex-president have been holding protests since December 10, in which, according to official figures, 46 demonstrators have already died.

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