Protesters clash with police in capital as President Dina Boluarte calls for "dialogue, peace and unity" following weeks of violent protests in the Andean nation.

Multiple people were arrested and several were injured, including two photographers, one with AFP, who were hit by pellets and stones.
Multiple people were arrested and several were injured, including two photographers, one with AFP, who were hit by pellets and stones. (Reuters)

Peru's President Dina Boluarte has called for a "national truce" to end weeks of nationwide unrest, while a major march in the capital calling for her resignation and fresh elections again resulted in violent clashes with police.

Thousands of Peruvians from Andean regions, many in traditional dress, marched in central Lima on Tuesday chanting "Dina assassin," blaming her for the deaths of more than 50 people, mainly demonstrators, since protests broke out last month.

The march turned violent when protesters, some carrying metal shields, threw stones while police responded with tear gas, according to the AFP news agency.

Multiple people were arrested and several were injured, including two photographers, one with AFP, who were hit by pellets and stones.

Boluarte seeks 'national truce'

Violence flared after Boluarte called for a "national truce," "dialogue, peace and unity" in a televised press conference. 

"I call on my dear country to a national truce to allow for the establishment of dialogue, to fix the agenda for each region and develop our towns. I will not tire from calling for dialogue, peace and unity," Boluarte told foreign media.

Boluarte said that the weeks of protests have already resulted in $515.61 million worth of production damages and another $773.42 million in infrastructure damages.

Many Peruvians remain angry at the ouster of former president Pedro Castillo, who was arrested on December 7 after attempting to dissolve parliament and rule by decree.

Protests broke out almost immediately, largely fueled by anger in poor rural regions in the south where inhabitants — mainly Indigenous — felt that Castillo represented their interests rather than those of the Lima elites.

Demonstrators have kept up weeks of protests and road blocks and are also demanding the dissolution of Congress and the rewriting of the constitution.

Boluarte rules out resigning 

Boluarte apologised several times for those killed in the protests but ruled out resigning.

"I will go once we have called a general election... I have no intention of remaining in power."

Boluarte said she was sure Congress would agree in February to advance elections, currently due for April 2024.

Asked about her possible resignation, Boluarte scoffed at the idea that it would "solve the crisis and the violence."

The government has earlier extended a state of emergency to six regions, curtailing some civil rights.

READ MORE: Peru police fire tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters

Source: AFP