Massive marches in Peru against the new Government of Manuel Merino

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Thousands of people starred this Thursday massive marches throughout Peru in rejection of the transitional government chaired by Congressman Manuel Merino after the removal of Martín Vizcarra from the Head of State.

A few hours after Merino took the oath of office to the cabinet of ministers led by the conservative Ántero Flores-Aráoz, the citizens they took to the streets for the fourth day in a row to affirm that the new ruler “has not been elected by the people”, ask for a renewal of the political class and reject corruption.

The mobilization, which in Lima concentrated more than 15,000 people In the central Plaza San Martín, it also gathered groups of protesters in other Lima districts such as Miraflores, Barranco, Lince, San Miguel, Chosica, Comas and Surco.

The call, made through social networks, was also very well received in cities in the interior of the country such as Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Cusco, Madre de Dios, Huancayo, Iquitos, Puno and even in Tumbes, the province for which Merino was elected congressman last January.

“Let all the corrupt go”

“I am shocked by the amount of people who are taking to the streets throughout Peru, this is indicating the outrage of society “, declared Cardinal Pedro Barreto, archbishop of the Andean city of Huancayo on the RPP Noticias radio station.

The massive marches had common slogans such as “Peru, I love you, that’s why I defend you” and “Merino is not my president”, Alluding to the fact that the new head of state presided over Congress and was sworn in as ruler after that Legislative Assembly removed Martín Vizcarra.

“Let all the corrupt go,” harangued the participants in Lima, while carrying Peruvian flags and banners, as well as masks and face shields due to COVID-19, which has left more than 928,000 cases in the country and 35,000 deceased.

Police and protesters clash in Plaza San Martín de Lima.
ALDAIR MEJÍA / EFE

The other major concentration in Lima was in the tourist district of Miraflores, where protesters gathered peacefully in Central Park and then marched along Larco Avenue while claiming that politicians “They messed with the wrong generation.”

“My deep respect and youth recognition and to the people who do nothing but raise their voice of protest in defense of what they love: Peru. Thank you for giving us an example of national dignity, “General Walter Martos, who was Vizcarra’s prime minister until last Monday, said in this regard on Twitter.

“I don’t know what bothers them”

Antero Flores-Aráoz, the prime minister of the transitional government who has removed Martín Vizcarra from power after dismissing him in Congress, assured this Thursday that does not understand the protests of the tens of thousands of Peruvians who demonstrated against the change of Executive.

Flores-Aráoz affirmed that he cannot understand the discontent of the population, which has exploded against the decision of the opposition to remove Vizcarra to assume the Government in full economic and health crisis COVID-19, and five months before the general elections.

Protesters against the transitional government of Manuel Merino in Plaza San Martín in Lima, Peru.
Demonstrators against the transitional government of Manuel Merino in the Plaza San Martín in Lima, this Thursday.
ALDAIR MEJÍA / EFE

The brand new president of the Council of Ministers made these statements in a televised interview on the ATV channel while the massive protests were taking place even in the smallest cities of the country.

“I want to understand that something is bothering them, but I don’t know what,” said Flores-Aráoz, a 78-year-old conservative politician, who was a candidate for the Presidency of Peru in the last elections of 2016, where he obtained a ridiculous 0.43% of the votes.

It is not a support to Vizcarra

A constant concern of the protesters is to underline that the situation should not be interpreted as support for the dismissed president, on whom they insisted “the full weight of the law must fall “.

“It is one more rat, but it has nothing to do with this,” Rocío Lamadrid, a young protester, told Efe.

For her part, Jimena Ledgard, 33, explained that “it is unacceptable that a Congress without acceptance or approval, repudiated by the people and without representation, has given a coup protected by legislation and overwhelmed the powers of the State “.

To that were added other complaints, such as “the return of the Inquisition “, represented by the ultra-conservative cabinet that Merino presented, according to other protesters.

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