‘Nationwide chaos’: Deadly Peru protests spread to the capital
The destruction of the building, a nearly century-old mansion in the center of the city, was described by officials as the loss of “monumental property.” The authorities are investigating the causes.
Romero affirmed that the fire was “properly planned and arranged.”
Thousands of protesters descended on Lima this week calling for change and angered by the rising death toll from the protests, which officially stood at 45 on Friday.
The riots had been concentrated until this week in southern Peru.
In the Cusco region, Glencore’s main Antapaccay copper mine suspended operations on Friday after protesters attacked the facility, one of the largest in the country, for the third time this month. Swiss-based Glencore is Australia’s largest coal miner.
The airports of Arequipa, the southern city of Juliaca and Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, were also attacked by protesters, dealing a new blow to Peru’s tourism industry. Australians were among hundreds of tourists stranded when protests broke out near the popular Inca ruins.
“It is a national chaos, you cannot live like this. We are in terrible uncertainty: the economy, vandalism,” said Leonardo Rojas from Lima.
The government has extended the state of emergency to six regions, restricting some civil rights.
But Boluarte has dismissed calls for him to resign and hold early elections, instead calling for dialogue and vowing to punish those involved in the riots.
“All the rigor of the law will fall on those people who have acted with vandalism,” said Boluarte.
Some locals pointed the finger at Boluarte, accusing her of failing to act to quell the protests. Some say that Castillo is its legitimate president.
Human rights groups have accused the police and army of using lethal firearms. Police say protesters have used weapons and homemade explosives.