Peru Orders Curfew In Violence-Hit Region After 18 Deaths Amid Protests

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Peru Orders Curfew In Violence-Hit Region After 18 Deaths Amid Protests

Peru Protests: Overnight, protesters looted shops and attacked police vehicles in the region.

Lima:

Peru on Tuesday announced a curfew in the southern Puno region in a bid to suppress violent protests, a day after 18 people were killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

Prime Minister Alberto Otarola said the three-day nighttime curfew would run from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am (0100 to 0900 GMT).

It comes after the death count in a month of protests against the ousting of former president Pedro Castillo rose to 40, including the 18 people killed Monday night.

The Puno region that borders Bolivia and is home to many Aymara indigenous people has become the epicenter of the protest movement led by Castillo supporters.

Overnight, protesters looted shops and attacked police vehicles in the region.

Most of the bloodshed there took place when protesters tried to storm the airport in the city of Juliaca that was being guarded by security forces.

Fourteen people were killed, many having suffered gunshot wounds, according to an official at a Juliaca hospital.

Three more people died during the ransacking of a shopping center in Juliaca while the last known victim was a police officer who the United Nations said died after his vehicle was set on fire.

The government has defended the actions of the security forces in Juliaca, claiming those guarding the airport faced down an organized attempted “coup” by thousands of demonstrators.

But UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Marta Hurtado called on authorities “to carry out prompt, impartial and effective investigations into the deaths and injuries, holding those responsible to account and ensuring victims receive access to justice and redress.”

Protests erupted a month ago when leftist Castillo — who was facing several graft investigations — was forced from office and arrested on charges of rebellion after attempting to dissolve parliament and rule by decree.

Tension had since been mounting in the cities of Puno and Juliaca where a week-long general strike has forced businesses to close.

Demonstrators have set up road blocks in six of the country’s 25 departments. Officials say there are 53 separate road blocks.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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