Curfew in Lima is lifted as protests rage in the Peruvian capital.
Immediately after a meeting with congressional leaders on Tuesday, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo lifted the curfew he had imposed on Lima in an attempt to curb violent protests over the country’s high levels of inflation.
“I must announce that from this moment on we are going to cancel the curfew order. We now call on the Peruvian people to keep calm,” the Peruvian leader said after his meeting with Congress.
The lockdown was supposed to last till Wednesday but had been lifted earlier as many lawmakers expressed their concerns that the measure violated the fundamental rights of Lima’s residents.
Violent protests, however, are still shaking the Peruvian capital with demonstrators attacking law enforcement. Police used tear gas on protesters, after rioters set an administrative building on fire. Peru’s Interior Minister Alfonso Chavarry has ordered the use of force to prevent further violence.
The protests were initiated a week ago by farmers outraged over the rising cost of fuel and fertilizer. The situation escalated when thousands of Peruvians flooded the streets to express their anger over deteriorating living conditions.
In March, consumer prices in Lima rose by nearly 7 percent, which is the highest rate of inflation the country has experienced since 1998.
The political crisis comes shortly after President Castillo narrowly avoided impeachment. He was accused of corruption and moral incapacity by the right-wing opposition. Political turbulence in Lima has hindered the Peruvian leader’s ability to deliver on his social reforms promise and forced him to swear in four different cabinets, with one prime minister lasting just three days in the job.