Peru’s Castillo lifts lockdown amid criticism
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo lifted the mandatory lockdown imposed in the country’s capital, Lima, and a nearby town after the move sparked widespread criticism and fresh protests in the streets.
Late on Monday, Castillo had ordered residents to remain confined in their homes in a bid “to re-establish peace and internal order” amid protests over rising food and fuel prices across the Andean nation.
“We will remove this curfew with immediate effect. We call on the Peruvian people to stay calm,” Castillo said on Tuesday afternoon. He appeared alongside Congress President Maria Alva and announced to cut the curfew short just after 5 pm local time.
The lockdown in the capital and the neighbouring town of Callao was imposed after protests broke out amid anger over a surge in fuel and fertiliser costs.
According to media reports, truckers and other transporters had blocked major highways. Moreover, at least four people have died in clashes with police in the past week. On Tuesday afternoon, thousands of protesters, many of them wearing Peru’s football jersey or flag, refused to adhere to the lockdown order. The protesters tried reaching the country’s Congress, where the president was meeting with legislators.
Earlier in the day, the country’s PM had said that the measure could be extended to other areas of the Andean nation if the unrest continued. However, the measure spurred widespread criticism and anger from key opposition party politicians, regular citizens, and human rights experts alike.
The curfew left Lima’s highways and street markets almost deserted throughout the day. Troops joined police in the streets to lock a state of emergency that restricted civil liberties, including the right to freedom of movement.
Monday’s demonstration saw passenger carrier drivers and truckers continue to take to the streets in Lima from the coastal city Piura and Amazonas.