Clashes between police and protesters in Lima (Peru) after refusal to advance elections

Riot police officers during the protests against Dina Boluarte in Peru. – LUCAS AGUAYO ARAOS / DPA

Several protests have taken place during the afternoon and evening of Saturday in Lima, Peru, in which clashes have occurred between authorities and demonstrators, after the Peruvian Congress voted against bringing forward the presidential elections to 2023.

A contingent of demonstrators gathered this evening on Abcanay Avenue, near the university area, a road along which they intended to advance towards the Congress headquarters, but their passage was blocked by police officers, which generated several clashes, according to the Peruvian news agency Andina.

The authorities have used tear gas bombs to disperse the protesters while some of them have defended themselves by throwing stones and pyrotechnics.

The police managed to push the demonstrators back from Abcanay Avenue and the protesters redirected to Grau Avenue, in the heart of the Barranco district.

At this moment, mobilizations continue in the Peruvian capital, as well as road blockades and other rallies in various regions to demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and the advancement of elections to this year.

Yesterday, a vote was held in Congress to approve or not the above mentioned advance of the elections, but the constitutional reform was blocked by 45 votes in favor, 65 votes against and 2 abstentions.

«We regret that the Congress of the Republic has not been able to reach an agreement to define the date of the general elections, in which Peruvians can freely and democratically elect the new authorities,» said the Presidency in a message published on Twitter.

Peru is in the midst of a deep political crisis following the dismissal by the Congress of former President Pedro Castillo, who announced last December 7 the dissolution of the Andean Parliament and the establishment of a government of exception.

Following the arrest of the former president, tens of thousands of people came out to protest in various parts of the country to demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, the dissolution of Congress and the urgent calling of presidential elections. Since then, more than 60 people have lost their lives in riots between demonstrators and security forces.