Blinken urges Peru leader to pursue reforms, reconciliation

3. US Peru
Supporters of Peruvian former president Pedro Castillo protest to demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, Castillo’s release, and Congress’s closure, in Lima on December 17, 2022. (Photo: AFP)


WASHINGTON, DC — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken to Peru’s embattled president Dina Boluarte, urging her to pursue reforms and “focus on reconciliation” as violent protests roil her new government, the State Department said Sunday.

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“Secretary Blinken encouraged Peru’s institutions and civil authorities to redouble their efforts to make needed reforms and safeguard democratic stability,” department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement, which noted the two leaders spoke on Friday.


“The US looks forward to working closely with President Boluarte on shared goals and values,” it said, adding that Blinken stressed the need for all Peruvian actors “to engage in constructive dialogue to ease political divisions and focus on reconciliation”.


Peru has been in crisis since December 7, when leftist president Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested following his attempt to dissolve parliament and rule by decree.


Boluarte, who had served as his vice president, rose to power.


But she lacks the support the former president, once a rural schoolteacher, enjoyed in much of the country, and violent riots ensued.


Boluarte has resisted opposition demands to step down and has called for fresh elections, but the Congress voted against a bill to move elections forward from 2026 to December 2023.


Castillo was arrested while trying to seek refuge in the Mexican embassy, and was ordered on Thursday to spend 18 months in pretrial detention.


Protests since then have claimed at least 19 lives and left 569 people injured, according to health officials.


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