The death of two protesters in the protests against the government of Manuel Merino produced an avalanche of resignations in the ministerial cabinet on Saturday night. Thirteen of the 18 ministers left their positions after the police repression, which so far claimed the lives of two young people, according to official media.
Headlines inland, Gastón Rodríguez; of health, Abel Salinas; from Woman, Patricia Teullet; from Justice, Delia Muñoz; from Economy, José Arista; from Development and Social inclusion, Federico Tong; from Culture, María de Reparaz; from Defending, Walter Chávez; from Foreign trade, María Seminario; from Energy and Mines, Carlos Herrera Descalzi; Housing, Hilda Sandoval; from farming, Fernando Hurtado; Y of Education, Fernando D’alessio, presented their resignation to the position. Twelve vice ministers did the same.
The political crisis appeared to be heading towards the resignation of Merino, whose whereabouts were unknown in the early hours of Sunday amid rumors of an alleged escape.
“I am calling him and I cannot communicate, I have no idea if he has resigned. I am not a fortune teller “, said its prime minister, Antero Flores Aráoz, on the radio RPP.
Later, it was learned that Merino spent the night at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, where he has participated in a meeting with the remaining ministers to evaluate his options for a final decision. In this sense, the congressman of Somos Peru Rennan Espinoza has transferred that the interlocutors have recommended to the president that he wait “for the Congress to remove him” in the vote this Sunday. “It seems to me a deplorable position,” he added to Canal N.
“This cabinet will have to face the consequences of this conspiratorial act”, said former President Ollanta Humala to Canal N from local television.
Lima’s international airport reported that it was closed due to the night curfew. “The prosecution is attentive to any situation that may arise”he said on Twitter.
Merino has remained silent after the strong repression on Saturday and the request for his resignation made by the head of Congress.
At around 02:00 am this Sunday (local time), the government released a photo of a meeting between Merino and his cabinet, but doubts arose as to when it had been taken. Well, the Minister of Health appeared, who had resigned hours before.
The Ministry of Health reported 63 injured protesters and the Human Rights Coordinator said that there were also 20 disappeared whose relatives were looking for them in hospitals and police stations in the hours of the curfew.
– Bloody Saturday –
Peru experienced another day of protests on Saturday with marches and cacerolazos in rejection of the government of Merino, the head of Congress who took office on Tuesday after Parliament removed Martín Vizcarra in a controversial lightning trial.
Thousands of outraged people, mostly young people, took to the streets in various cities to demand the resignation of Merino, in rejection of what they consider a parliamentary coup.
The demonstrations continued into the early hours of Sunday in central Lima, in defiance of the night curfew in force due to the pandemic.
The police again resorted to tear gas and pepper gas fired from helicopters to disperse protesters.
Young people carried signs with slogans such as “Merino, you are not my president”, “Merino impostor”, “Peru woke up”, and they advanced through the streets to the rhythm of batucadas and songs.
Simultaneously, a group of protesters approached the surroundings of Merino’s home, east of Lima, with pots and drums.
Military tanks circulated around a shopping center in the San Miguel district, in the north of the capital.
The Episcopal Conference urged the government to dialogue.
“It is essential to listen and attend to the cries and the clamor of the population to regain trust, tranquility and social peace”, said the president of the Conference, Miguel Cabrejos, archbishop of Trujillo, in a statement.
Merino took office to complete the current term, which expires on July 28, 2021.
Since Tuesday, thousands of people have taken to the streets in defense of Vizcarra, a politician without a party or bench in Congress but very popular.
Congress removed him for “Moral incapacity” following an investigation by the prosecution for allegedly receiving bribes when he was governor of the southern region of Moquegua in 2014, which he denies.
(With information from AFP)
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