Culture

Protests in Peru Continue After Country Names Third President in One Week

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla.

Massive demonstrations continue to take place in Peru on Monday (Nov. 16) after citizens were introduced to its third president in the span of one week.

Francisco Sagasti was named Peru’s new interim president after Manuel Merino resigned the position less than a week after his appointment. Sagasti will serve in the role until the country’s elections in April 2021.

Merino was named president on November 10, the day after the Peruvian Congress removed popular president Martín Vizcarra, who was replaced after allegations arose that he accepted bribes years ago.

Supporters of Vizcarra point to the legislators who removed him as the actual criminals. According to NPR, “half of the lawmakers are under investigation or indictment for alleged crimes including money laundering and homicide.”

Once Vizcarra was out, many in the Peruvian community were outraged by the decision, which led to hundreds of citizens gathering in the Plaza San Martín in the capital city of Lima last week. The protests left two people dead, 94 injured and 42 missing.

With the appointment of Sagasti, Peruvians continue to take to the streets angry with their country’s corrupt political system.

“The main thing for Peru is to regain stability and for this nightmare to end,” legislator Alberto de Belaunde told Reuters on Monday.

Sagasti weighed in to help quell protests.

“Today is not a day of celebration,” he said, according to Reuters. “We cannot go back, bring them back to life, but we can take action from Congress, from the Executive, so that this does not happen again.”