Heated Peruvian Protests Erupt in the Streets

Heated Peruvian Protests Erupt in the Streets
Randi Whipple | Michael O

This year hasn’t been great for many people, politically-speaking, but in Peru, things went from bad to worse as a result of the mismanagement of the pandemic by former President Martín Vizcarra. Peru’s Congress also alleged that Vizcarra took bribes in the past, and he was caught in a scandal.

The legislature tried removing him in September to no avail, but by November, they were finally successful in their efforts. He left office on November 9th. His removal was seen as a coup by many Peruvians, and protests began after the inauguration of the new president of the Congress, Manuel Merino. The protests turned violent, with two protestors shot dead: Jordan Sotelo and Jack Bryan Pintado Sánchez.

Peruvians have demanded a new constitution in the midst of the protests, and, after less than a week in office and due to the large outcry from protestors, Merino stepped down from office. In his place, Francisco Sagasti was put into office, appointing Violeta Bermúdez as Prime Minister. In the aftermath of the first wave of protests, the commander general was removed from the national police. This caused some unrest within the police force as well.

Due to the protests that were taking place, goods sat on the Pan-American highway for several hours. This was mostly mine workers blocking the line. Meanwhile, another death took place, with an investigation taking place into what happened.

Then, on December 5th, at a time when medical personnel are needed desperately because of the global pandemic, the Peruvian Medical Federation announced it will begin an indefinite strike starting January 2021 due to an unwanted response from the Ministry of Health. Could this have negative effects in fighting the pandemic? It certainly sounds like it, and Peru has been hit hard by the pandemic, which is the fuel to much of this fire in the first place.

It’s going to be a while before Peru gets to a better place, and it doesn’t look like 2021 is starting off well, with the potential fallout from a medical worker strike.