Lima Records Death After Congress Refuses to Expedite Vote

  • In World
  • 2023-01-29 18:46:20Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) --

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Peru's political turmoil, sparked by Congress's decision not to bring forward presidential elections, has claimed its first victim in Lima following the death of a demonstrator in the city.

Victor Santisteban Yacsavilca's death takes the number of people killed in the protests over the past eight weeks to 58, including a police officer. According to the Interior Ministry, Santisteban was treated at a local hospital for a wound behind his ear. The police and Prosecutor's Office are investigating.

On Tuesday, embattled President Dina Boluarte, who replaced Pedro Castillo when he was ousted on Dec. 7, expressed concerns about the potential for martyrdom in the capital.

"When they moved from the interior of the country to Lima, what did the messages on social networks say? A death in Lima is worth a hundred in the province," Boluarte said in a press conference.

Early Saturday, Congress rejected a proposal to bring elections forward to as soon as this October, a decision blasted by Boluarte's fragile government. Lawmakers are expected to hold a new vote on Jan. 30, according to Peruvian broadcaster RPP.

For almost two months following Castillo's arrest after attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, demonstrators have been demanding Boluarte's resignation, as well as those of the members of the Congress.

"I've already explained the negative consequences for the country if I were to resign at this time," Boluarte told Trome, according to an interview published Sunday. "That does not solve the crisis."

Meanwhile, an upsurge of violence at the protests threatens to reduce copper output in the world's No. 2 supplier, with about 30% of its production at risk at a time of low global stocks and high prices.

(Adds Boluarte's comments in sixth paragraph.)

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