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Crisis in Peru: violent protests cause shortages and paralyze tourism

The Ombudsman's Office reported that the social upheaval has left 57 dead, more than 1,600 injured and millions of dollars in economic losses.

Perú. Destitución de Pedro Castillo

(Cordon Press)

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The crisis in Peru has only escalated since early December when the protests began. Road blockades and violent protests have affected public infrastructure, caused shortages, as well as human and economic losses.

According to the latest report from the Ombudsman's Office, the social upheaval has left 57 dead, 1,658 people injured, both civilians and police, as well as millions of dollars in economic losses.

The blockades on different routes in the country have hindered land travel between the capital and other areas, which has caused shortages of food, fuel, and liquefied gas for domestic use in several regions.

"In the warehouses only non-perishable foodstuffs are available and everything is very expensive, up to three times the normal price," a citizen told AFP.

Inflation increases

The shortages in the markets have caused a significant increase in the cost of products. In fact, according to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Alex Contrera, inflation for January could be between 8.5% and 9%.

"This situation is hitting families who do not have a financial backing. Today, families in the lowest deciles allocate more than 60% of their spending on food consumption and transportation," he said.

According to the Lima Chamber of Commerce, commerce, mining, and hydrocarbons are the most affected sectors, along with services such as manufacturing, agriculture, construction, tourism, and hotels.

The crisis in Peru has become so complex that some areas, such as Puerto Maldonado and Puno, have seen a 100% increase in costs.

Tourism affected by the closure of Cusco

The nation's biggest attraction is also suffering the consequences of the protests. Since January 23, the imperial city has been closed to tourists. However, it is not the only tourist site that has been closed.

It was recently reported that more than 80% of tourist reservations were canceled for both domestic and foreign tourists, causing millions of dollars in losses.

The president insists on holding new elections

Dina Boluarte was sworn in as head of state after . Protesters have since insisted that the president resign and that new elections be held, but Congress has been unwilling to do so.

Dina Boluarte has made it clear that her intention is not to remain in the presidency, but explained that in order to leave, Parliament must call for elections this year.

"The marches and protests continue, there are more blockades and there is more violence. And yes, we talked about it (...) and we presented the bill to bring forward the elections to December 2023 (...) From the Executive and from myself I call on Congress (...) Agree, congressmen, say such a day and at that moment we will be convening the elections in December 2023 (...). general elections so that freely and democratically, without blackmail, the Peruvian people can choose,” she said.