Peruvian officials declared a new state of emergency Monday in the nation’s capital after a spike in crime presents yet another crisis for a government that has yet to truly consolidate.
The measure, which comes into force on Tuesday, will meet the need for an “immediate and emergency presence of law and order forces” in three locations and deal a “strong blow” to crime, the Cabinet chairman said at the during Monday. conferences.
The most recent declaration applies to two districts in Lima and one district in Talara, a city in the northwestern corner of the country near the border with Ecuador. The new declaration suspends a number of civil rights, such as the inviolability of the home and the freedom to enter social gatherings without warning.
Officials approved the new measure after an attack at a nightclub in which an unknown person threw a grenade into the crowd, injuring 10 people. Local media attributed the attack to a “group dedicated to blackmail”.
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Peru’s President Dina Bolluarte, speaking on state television, said the declaration would allow authorities to operate “within the legal framework available to both institutions,” TeleSur reported. Boluarte attended the ministerial meeting virtually, as she is in New York to participate in the United Nations’ high-level week with the General Assembly.
Instead, the country’s Prime Minister Alberto Otarola presided over the meeting and confirmed the decision, saying that the new declaration will allow the National Police to implement “internal order” with the “strategic support and critical elements responsible for the Armed Forces Powers”.
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The new measures do not give full law enforcement powers to the military, as El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele did to significantly curb rampant crime and gang violence in his country. Some right-wing lawmakers in Peru urged Boluarte to take such measures anyway.
Crime reports in Peru peaked at more than 160,000 in 2022 compared to just over 120,000 in 2021, according to the country’s complaints office. Peru continues to prove a popular destination for US tourists, with nearly half a million expected to visit the country in 2022 and the country’s largest source of visitors, with the bulk of tourists otherwise coming from neighboring countries such as Chile, Ecuador and Ecuador and Colombia, according to Statista.
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Boluarte has issued several emergency declarations since taking office and has struggled during her tenure to win any public support. In fact, two of the state of emergency declarations issued by Peru in the past year have been related to helping control protests against Boluarte’s rule.
Unrest ensued after then-President Pedro Castillo was arrested and removed from office after he illegally declared that he would dissolve Peru’s congress ahead of an attempt to remove him from office through a vote due to several corruption investigations against him.
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Lawmakers appointed Boluarte to overturn Castillo’s declaration, but many in Peru saw Castillo as “one of us” and immediately disapproved of Boluarte’s appointment. Her decision to use the authorities to quell the protests only fueled the violence dozens dead in clashes between protesters and police over the next six months.
Boluarate’s latest statement in response to the political unrest came in July after Congress refused to hold early elections in a move to appease protesters.
Reuters contributed to this report.