The Peruvian Ministry of Transport and Communications said on Thursday that the operation of the airports in the cities of Cusco and Arequipa was suspended amid ongoing protests in the country.
On Thursday, a nationwide protest took place in Peru demanding the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and the dissolution of Congress. Mass demonstrations were held in all major cities of the country. According to media reports, clashes between demonstrators and police began in the afternoon. Police armored personnel carriers were brought to the streets of the Peruvian capital of Lima.
“As a precautionary measure, the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco is temporarily closed. The measure is designed to protect people and air operations,” the ministry said on Twitter.
A similar notification from the ministry was issued in relation to the international airport in Arequipa.
According to Peruvian radio RPP, groups of vandals tried to seize the buildings of these airports. The report noted that the criminals in Cusco managed to break into the runways, and in Arequipa – into the terminal building. At the same time, protesters in the city of Juliaca also tried to seize the local airport, but the police dispersed them with tear gas, the Republica newspaper reported.
On December 7, 2022, Peru’s parliament impeached former President Pedro Castillo. He was arrested on charges of a coup attempt and crimes against the state as he tried to dissolve the parliament and rule by decree before the impeachment vote. Then-Prime Minister Boluarte was appointed the country’s new leader.
The events have sparked a wave of protests across the country. Demonstrators have been denouncing the post-impeachment government and calling for an immediate presidential election and the dissolution of the country’s parliament.
At least 53 people have died since the start of the protests, media reported.