(CNN) — The Peruvian Ministry of Health reported this Monday night that at least 26 people died due to the protests taking place in the country, while the authorities could reconsider the electoral advancement.
Nine people died in Ayacucho, six in Apurímac, three in Cuzco, Junín and La Libertad, and two in Arequipa, the Ministry of Health reported.
Hospitalized (39): Ayacucho (15), Junín (7), La Libertad (7), Ucayali (2), Apurímac (5), Lima (1) and Arequipa (2) / Deceased (26): in Ayacucho (9 ), Apurímac (6), Cusco (3), Junín (3), La Libertad (3) and Arequipa (2).
— Ministry of Health (@Minsa_Peru) December 20, 2022
Congress re-evaluates an electoral advance
The continuity of the protests prompted the Peruvian Congress on Tuesday to reconsider the option of an electoral advance.
With 94 votes in favor, Congress approved the reconsideration of the vote on the bill that proposes the constitutional reform for the advancement of general elections. The initiative had been rejected last week, despite the request of President Dina Boluarte.
This Sunday, Boluarte announced in an interview on the “Cuarto Poder” program, on Peruvian television, that this Monday or Tuesday, he would be reforming his cabinet for one “a little more political” because the demonstrations at the national level do not stop.
“To solve the needs that are pending to be solved as quickly as we can, because nobody can put a minister who is going to learn how the sector is inside, we are going to delay time. This is a transitional government, we need to act fast,” he said.
Boluarte also indicated that he will be changing the head of the Council of Ministers, Pedro Angulo.
Mexico grants asylum to Castillo’s family
The foreign minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, said that his government will grant asylum to the family of the former president of Peru, Pedro Castillo.
During a press conference held this Tuesday, Ebrard announced that the Castillo family was already at the Mexican embassy in Lima, without specifying which members or how many are currently within the diplomatic mission.
“The asylum has already been granted because they are in Mexican territory, that is, they are in our embassy. And when they are in the embassy, you give them asylum: an independent, sovereign decision of Mexico. Now what is being negotiated is their safe conduct so that if they want to leave they do so and come to Mexico if they wish. But they are in Mexican territory because they are in the embassy,” Ebrard said.
Peru’s President Dina Boluarte said Sunday that she understood that Mexico had granted asylum to the family, but not to the former president. Pedro Castillo is currently under “preventive prison” for 18 months, for alleged rebellion and conspiracy to commit a crime.
“A few days ago the Minister of Foreign Affairs told me that the Mexican State had already given them asylum,” Boluarte said during an interview with Peru’s Panamericana Television.
Boluarte added that he understood that the asylum was for Castillo’s wife, Lilia Paredes, and their children.
Lilia Paredes, former first lady, is being investigated on suspicion of allegedly coordinating a criminal network led by former President Castillo. Her former lawyer, Benji Espinoza, stressed her innocence and argued that the investigation against Paredes included “a series of failures and omissions.”
His sister, Yenifer Paredes, is also being investigated for alleged belonging to the same criminal organization, money laundering and aggravated collusion. She was in custody until a judge revoked her 30-month “pretrial detention.” She has also denied any wrongdoing.
When President Boluarte was asked in the local media if asylum would be an option for the former first lady and her sister despite being under investigation, Boluarte replied: “…our Minister told me that the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office was not interfere with any possible political asylum”.
Hundreds of tourists stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu were evacuated this Sunday after Peru entered a state of emergency following the removal of President Pedro Castillo.
Following last week’s disruptions and closures, train services and airports are now reopening.
Civil unrest swept Peru earlier this month when former President Castillo was ousted and arrested, his removal from power accelerating simmering political tensions in the country. Rail and air transport services were disrupted when protesters stormed airports.
The protests were often marked by clashes with Peruvian security forces. Some are protesting in support of Castillo, while others want a full reset of the country with new general elections and the dissolution of Congress.