Jan 20, 2023 - World

Historic building ablaze in Peru's capital during deadly protest clashes

Firefighters extinguishing fire at a building where a fire broke out at the roof during the clashes between protestors and demonstrator in f Lima, Peru on January 19, 2023.

Firefighters extinguishing flames at a building that caught fire during clashes between police and protesters in the historical center of Lima, Peru, on Thursday night. Photo: Klebher Vasquez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Clashes erupted in Lima between Peru's police and protesters on Thursday, as thousands took to the streets in the capital and across the country to call for President Dina Boluarte's resignation.

Details: A historic building caught fire in the capital as riot police fired tear gas and demonstrators, many from the predominantly Indigenous south, threw stones during the latest demonstration unrest, which was originally sparked by the ousting of Peru's detained former President Pedro Castillo.

  • The cause of the fire in Lima's historic center, near San Martín Plaza, was not immediately known.

State of play: The deaths of over 50 people during six weeks of demonstrations have fueled further anger and resulted in growing calls for Boluarte's removal from office. On Thursday, protesters in Lima were chanting "Dina, murderer, the people repudiate you," the Guardian reports.

  • Boluarte called for "dialogue" on Thursday after the latest flashpoint in the worst political violence in over 20 years left at least one person dead and 30 others wounded, according to CNN.

Context: A judge in Peru in December ordered Castillo to remain in detention for 18 months after authorities requested time to build their rebellion case against the former president, whom lawmakers ousted from office following his failed attempt to dissolve Congress.

Between the lines: The protests underscore the massive divide in the country between the urban elite that mostly live in Lima and Peruvians that live in impoverished rural areas, AP notes.

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