Peru: When police and demonstrators battled on Friday night during the country’s growing anti-government marches, tensions once again erupted, leaving dozens of Peruvians hurt.
As fires raged in the streets of Lima, the country’s capital, police deployed tear gas to disperse protesters throwing glass bottles and stones.
According to a statement made to the media by Interior Minister Vicente Romero, over 1,500 protestors attacked a police station in the town of Ilave in the Puno area of the country.
Romero reported that a police station was also on fire in Zepita, Puno.
Eight persons were hospitalized in Ilave due to wounds, including broken arms and legs, eye contusions, and punctured abdomens.
According to a report from Peru’s Ombudsman, 58 persons had been hurt during rallies across the country by late afternoon.
Following a day of upheaval on Thursday, when one of Lima’s most historic buildings was destroyed in a fire, President Dina Boluarte promised to crack down harder on “vandals.”
Officials described the loss of the structure, a nearly century-old home in the center of Lima, as a “monumental asset.” Authorities are looking into the reasons.
Romero asserted that the fire was “duly planned and arranged” on Friday.
This week, tens of thousands of demonstrators converged in Lima, demanding reform and outraged by the rising death toll from the demonstrations, which reached 45 on Friday.
Since President Pedro Castillo was overthrown in December after attempting to dissolve the legislature to stop an impeachment vote, protests have erupted across Peru.
Up until this week, the south of Peru had seen the majority of the unrest.
One of the largest copper mines in the nation, Glencore’s (GLEN.L) Antapaccay in the Cusco area, had its activities interrupted on Friday after demonstrators invaded the location for the third time in one month.
Demonstrators also attacked airports in Arequipa, Cusco, and the southern city of Juliaca, dealing another injury to Peru’s tourism sector.
“You can’t live like this; there is widespread turmoil. The economy, vandalism, and other factors have us in great anxiety “said Leonardo Rojas, a local of Lima.
Six regions are now under a state of emergency that the government has expanded, which limits some civil rights.
Boluarte, however, has rejected calls for her to step down and call early elections, calling instead for dialogue and promising to hold those responsible for the unrest accountable.
Boluarte declared on Thursday that individuals who committed vandalism will face the full force of the law.
Boluarte was blamed by some people for failing to intervene to put an end to the demonstrations, which erupted on December 7 in response to Castillo’s dismissal and incarceration.
Human rights organizations have charged the army and police with using lethal weapons. According to the authorities, demonstrators have utilized explosives and guns.