Thousands mourn in Peru after student dies in protests in support of ex-president Castillo

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By Euronews
Soldiers stand guard outside the airport in Ayacucho, Peru.
Soldiers stand guard outside the airport in Ayacucho, Peru.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Hugo Curotto

Weeping mourners walked through the streets of the rural village of Quinua in the Peruvian Andes after the death of Clemer Rojas, a 23-year-old student.

Late last week, Rojas joined protests in support of ousted president Pedro Castillo.

A few days later, a few thousand residents joined his funeral procession.

Scattered throughout the crowd were signs calling Peru’s first female president, Dina Boluarte, an “assassin.”

Peru has been rocked by unrest for the past two weeks and at least 18 protesters have died during demonstrations.

In the country’s capital Lima, demonstrators accused the police of using deadly firearms and disproportionate violence against them.

AP
Relatives grieve during the funeral procession of Clemer Rojas, who was killed during protests against new President Dina Boluarte.AP

Demonstrations were sparked after Castillo was impeached and arrested for attempting to dissolve Congress. A move that his opponents condemned as an attempted coup.

He is currently in custody, serving 18 months of pretrial detention.

Boluarte, his former vice-president, then replaced him. Despite protests calling for her resignation, Castillo’s release and a general election, she has said she will not step down.

Instead, she renewed her previous calls for Congress to approve early elections to curb the street protests.

"What is solved by my resignation? We will be here, firmly, until Congress determines to bring forward the elections," she said on Saturday.

The country’s next general election is currently planned to take place in 2026.

But Congress has rejected the call to reschedule it, a move widely interpreted in Peru as a desperate attempt by lawmakers to hang on to their jobs.  

Watch Euronews’ report in the video player above to learn more.

Additional sources • AP, Reuters and AFP