At least three people have dead and a dozen have resulted wounds in the protests Saturday in Peru against him President Manuel Merino, who took office just five days ago after dismissing Martín Vizcarra. The President of Congress, Luis Valdez, has asked for the “immediate resignation” of Merino after violent repression of these protests.
In a statement released on the Twitter account of the Peruvian Congress, it has been reported that a board of directors will be called for this Sunday at 8:00 a.m. (2:00 p.m. in Spain) to discuss Merino’s succession. “We must make a bigger decision this Sunday, electing a new board of directors for a constitutional succession,” Valdez said.
Seven of the 18 Merino ministers have already resigned late on Saturday after the police repression, among them the one from Health, Abel Salinas, according to local media. The head of the Ministerial Cabinet, Antero Flores Aráoz, a 78-year-old conservative politician, has ruled out that the president is going to resign. “He has not considered taking a step aside because millions of Peruvians support him, unfortunately they are at home,” said the number two of the Government.
Violent police repression
The ultimatum of the President of Congress comes after the death of three protesters during a massive and peaceful march to reject Merino in Lima, which was violently repressed by the police with gunfire pellets and tear gas.
The mayor of Lima, Jorge Muñoz, from the Popular Action party, the same from Merino, has also demanded the resignation of the president. Also the archbishop of the capital, Carlos Castillo, has deplored the police repression. “It is essential to listen and attend to the cries and the clamor of the population to regain confidence, tranquility and social peace,” said the president of the Episcopal Conference, Miguel Cabrejos.
The first deceased, a 25-year-old young man, died of pellet shots to the head and face, as reported by the Ombudsman, who has denounced the indiscriminate use of rubber pellets and tear gas by the police.
Police action has been severely questioned by the HIM-HER-IT and organizations of human rights as Amnesty International since the protests in rejection of Merino began on Tuesday, which the president took office that day after Parliament removed her from office. Martin Vizcarra in a controversial whirlwind trial.
However, the protests on Saturday, with marches and casseroles, they have ended in a bloody day. Thousands of outraged, mostly young boys under 25 years of age, took to the streets in several cities of the country to demand the resignation of Merino, in rejection of what they consider a parliamentary coup.
The protesters support Vizcarra, a politician without a party or bench in Congress but very popular, and question the legality and legitimacy of the Merino government.
Mass march in Lima
The largest march in Lima attracted thousands of people who converged from different parts of the capital in Plaza San Martín, the epicenter of protests in the historic area of the city. The police used tear gas and pepper gas fired from helicopters to disperse protesters who were threatening to march towards the headquarters of Congress.
The 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 chants. 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.