Two people killed in clashes between protesters and police in Andahuaylas . Protesters call for a national strike, new elections, and the freeing of former president Pedro Castillo .
LIMA (LIMA) – On Sunday, demonstrations against Peru's new government became deadly, with two people killed as police clashed with protesters calling for a national strike, new elections, and the freeing of former president Pedro Castillo, who was detained.The demonstrations have swelled, particularly in the northern and Andean towns, after the South American country's legislature threw out the leftist Castillo on Wednesday after he attempted to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.Dina Boluarte, a former prosecutor who had served as Castillos vice president, was sworn in to replace him immediately.She introduced her new cabinet, a trio with an independent and technocratic name, on Saturday, which included eight women.Castillo was quickly released after his detention, and demonstrators in Cajamarca, Arequipa, Huancayo, Cusco, and Puno demanded his release on Sunday.Authorities in the southern city of Andahuaylas reported that new clashes broke out between protesters and police on Sunday, killing two and injuring at least five others, including a police officer, as demonstrators attempted to storm the city's airport.Thousands of protesters were arrested in Andahuaylas, which is in the Apurimac district of Boluartes, when police were dispatched to the airport.Protesters fired slingshots and hurled stones at protesters, while police responded with tear gas, according to photographs from the scene that were shown on local television. Interior Minister Cesar Cervantes told the station, urging people to remain calm, as he declared the second death just after police confirmed the first, a teenager.On Saturday, 16 civilians and four police officers were wounded in clashes in Andahuaylas.Boluarte reiterated on Sunday evening that no Peruvians should be sacrificed for political causes, reiterating a call for dialogue and the abandon of violence.The country's right-wing Congress convened in an emergency session on Sunday afternoon to address the crisis, but was forced to cancel after physical disturbances broke out. On Sunday, 1,000 to 2,000 people gathered in Lima, shouting: Castillo you are not alone, the people are behind you, and the people are even carrying signs accusing Dina and the Congress of being clumsy, before police dispersed the crowd with tear gas.Meanwhile, rural unions and groups representing Indigenous populations called for an end to a standoff on Tuesday in favor of Castillo, the son of a peasant family.According to a statement from the Agrarian and Rural Front of Peru, which consists of about a dozen organizations, they demanded that Congress be suspended, early elections, and a new constitution be held, as well as Castillos' immediate release.The Rural Front claims that Castillo did not commit a coup detat on Wednesday when he announced the suspension of Congress and said he would rule by decree. Prosecutors have charged the deposed president with rebellion and plot as he arrived at the Mexican embassy on Wednesday.According to recent polls, nearly nine out of ten Peruvians oppose the nation's legislature.Boluarte, who did not rule out calling early elections on Friday, must specify whether she wants to run a transitional government or stay in office until 2026, according to political analyst Giovanna Penaflor.Penaflor said she should be clear that her job is to promote new general elections, saying that doing so would give the necessary stability and ensure that this cabinet does not look like one in the past. Castillos' 17-month reign was overshadowed by six probes into him and his family, widespread demonstrations demanding his removal, and a power fight with the opposition-backed Congress.