Massacre in Peru: Death Toll Tops 17 as Protests Mount After Ouster & Jailing of President Castillo

Mass protests are intensifying in Peru following the ouster and jailing of President Pedro Castillo, who was impeached on December 7 after attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree. At least 17 protesters have been killed in the unrest as police have attacked crowds with tear gas and live ammunition. On Thursday, a judicial panel ruled that Castillo should remain locked up for 18 months of pretrial detention, and Castillo’s successor, his former vice president, Dina Boluarte, has declared a state of emergency across the country, suspending some civil rights. Peruvian sociologist Eduardo González Cueva calls the government’s heavy-handed response “a coup within a coup” and says dissatisfaction with the entire political establishment is driving the protests. “This is no longer about Castillo personally,” he says. “This is about the people of Peru who do not see themselves represented in this political system and are calling for a very radical change.”

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