As protests and roadblocks continue to sweep across Peru, President Dina Boluarte has made it clear that she will not resign from her position. Her statement comes after calls for her resignation and the arrest of a trade union leader with alleged ties to Maoist rebels.
Supporters of ousted president Pedro Castillo have been marching and barricading streets throughout the country since December, demanding new elections and Boluarte’s removal.
In her address on state TV, Boluarte acknowledged that the protests have at times turned violent, with 42 people killed and hundreds more injured in clashes with security forces. She expressed her regret for the loss of life and apologized for the situation.
However, she also rejected the possibility of calling for a constitutional assembly, citing the difficulties that Peru’s neighbor, Chile, has faced in drafting and approving a new constitution.
Earlier on Friday, police announced the arrest of Rocio Leandro, a union leader from the Ayacucho region, who is accused of financing protests and recruiting demonstrators.
Police spokesman Oscar Arriola claimed that Leandro’s arrest proves that remnants of the Shining Path Maoist rebels are involved in the protests and that Leandro was a former Shining Path member known as “Comrade Cusi.”