Peru declares state of emergency on highways

LIMA: Peru on Thursday (Apr 7) declared a one-month state of emergency on all its highways in a bid to clear road blocks set up by truckers protesting against price increases.
 
The measure allows for the army to be deployed to clear the blockades, while also suspending certain constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly.
 
The decree, published in the official newspaper, said “the police will keep control of internal order, with help from the armed forces.”
 
Hundreds of truckers and farm workers have been blocking roads throughout the country since Monday to protest rising fuel and fertiliser prices.
 
Clashes between protesters and police in Ica some 300km south of Lima left one farm worker dead and 15 people injured, mostly police officers.
 
Tensions had been building all week with President Pedro Castillo’s imposition of a 24-hour curfew in Lima on Tuesday backfiring and having to be called off six hours early.
 
Trouble broke out on Tuesday night in Lima following marches in several parts of the city with demonstrators chanting: “Castillo out!”
 
But the capital was calm on Thursday.
 
The episode marks the first time in Castillo’s eight months in power that he has faced a social protest movement.