Political turmoil is tearing Peru apart (The Economist – January 30, 2023)


Two months of often violent protest threaten democracy’s survival

For the past few weeks the cry of “Dina asesina! Dina asesina!” has rung out across the streets of several of Peru’s bigger towns and cities. It is unfortunate for the country’s president that her first name rhymes with the Spanish word for “murderer”.

Dina Boluarte is the legal, constitutional head of state. But since she took over on December 7th at least 58 people have died during protests, 46 of them civilians in clashes with the security forces, according to the ombudsman’s office. Her name has become toxic, and for many Peruvians her government has lost any legitimacy.

Peru is suffering an explosion of conflict on the streets of the kind experienced in Chile in 2019, in Colombia in 2021 and in Ecuador last year. Peru’s has been especially violent, seditious and dangerous.

It also has a racial edge: the country’s indigenous population has long been disadvantaged and has been at the forefront of the protests. At stake is whether democracy can survive. The society has become so polarised that some Peruvians talk of an impending civil war, far-fetched though that seems.

For the rest of this article: https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2023/01/30/political-turmoil-is-tearing-peru-apart?utm_content=article-link-3&etear=nl_today_3&utm_campaign=r.the-economist-today&utm_medium=email.internal-newsletter.np&utm_source=salesforce-marketing-cloud&utm_term=1/30/2023&utm_id=1467948