Peru declares a state of emergency.
Burning tyre in a higway leading to Lima. Image Credit: Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters
The Peruvian government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after the recent surge in fuel prices prompting huge protests across the whole country.
The Ukrainian-Russian war led to a rise in fertilizer, oil and gas prices sparking fatal protests in the small south American country of 34 million people. Its fertilizer prices soared since Peru imports potash, ammonia, urea and other soil nutrients from Russia, which is now hit by Western sanctions and therefore can not deliver the products.
Road tolls have also been reportedly increased making life increasingly difficult as inflation in the country soared to a 26-year high in March, leading also to higher food prices.
Last Monday, a huge number of protestors clashed with police over the price hikes resulting in four deaths. The protesters burned tyres and toll booths, and also blocked a number of roads. The protesters also looted shops and fought with police.
A curfew has been imposed in the Peruvian capital, Lima. People now can not get out from homes from 2:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.
The Peruvian government which is led by President Pedro Castillo has only been in power for one year. He won the election by getting most of the votes from the rural poor. Now, his suppost is quickly diminishing, with some estimating that only 25% support the President nationwide. During his Presidency he has so far survived two impeachments and cycled through a high number of cabinet members. The government is attempting to lower the prices of some of the products.
The surge of food prices seem to have started last week after farmers and truckers blocked a number of higways leading to the capital, Lima. Last weekend the government attempted to calm the situation by foregoing the tax on fuel in an attempt to bring its price down. They also raised the mimum wage by around 10% to 1,205 soles, ($332 or €302) per month.