- Merino’s resignation comes merely five days after taking over the office of the presidency in a very controversial way.
- Two young men fell in the capital, at least one of them by bullets fired by the police.
- The death of the two protesters caused the resignation of up to 13 ministers of the 18 that constituted the new cabinet.
Peru’s President, Manuel Merino, has resigned after barely a week in office. His resignation follows unrest in the country against his administration, with a majority of Peruvians being in support of his predecessor, Martin Vizcarra. The demonstrations resulted in the death of two Peruvians, with scores injured.
“At this moment when the country is going through one of its greatest political crises, I want to announce to all the country that I present my irrevocable resignation of the post of the Presidency of the Republic. I call for the peace and unity of all Peruvians,” said the right-wing leader in a message to the nation.
Merino’s resignation comes merely five days after taking over the office of the presidency in a very controversial way. The Congress that he himself headed removed the nation’s former president, Martín Vizcarra.
Earlier, the sixth day of protests against the new president, who had already resigned, resulted in the first two fatalities in Lima. Two young men, Jack Pintado and Inti Sotelo, fell in the capital, at least one of them by bullets fired by the police, who repress those who demonstrate against what they consider a coup d’état.
The death of the two protesters caused the resignation of up to 13 ministers of the 18 that constituted the new cabinet, including the heads of the Interior (Gastón Rodríguez) and Justice (Delia Muñoz). They were majorly involved in the behind-the-scenes maneuvers to instal Merino as president.
Peru’s National Coordinator of Human Rights (CNDDHH) also reported the disappearance of a dozen protesters during the anti-government marches on Saturday, and the repression against them in the streets of Lima throughout the morning. The CNDDHH also said that dozens have been injured so far.
“There was irrational, abusive use of force in Lima. I demand that the president of the republic shows his face and gives explanations to the country,” said Peru’s human rights ombudsman, Walter Gutiérrez.
“Two young people have been sacrificed absurdly, stupidly, unjustly by the police,” Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian author and Nobel laureate, said in a video message. I believe it is imperative that the repression – which is against all Peru – ceases, because it is all Peru which is protesting.”
Erika Guevara, Americas director for Amnesty International, on his part said:
“We demand impartial investigations into the human rights violations in the protests in Peru including the deaths of two young students. Who committed these crimes and their senior officials must be investigated at the highest level.”
The events left Merino at a dead end. His main allies, who until a few hours ago were inside the Congress that forced Vizcarra out, now threatened him. The new parliamentary president, Luis Valdez, asked Merino to evaluate his resignation.