By Laura Gamba
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) - Peru's president called Tuesday for a "national truce" as thousands of demonstrators continued to take to the streets to demand her resignation and fresh elections.
"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," Dina Boluarte said at a press conference in the capital Lima.
The protests over the past month and a half have left 55 people dead in clashes between demonstrators and security forces and caused production losses equivalent to nearly $1.3 billion.
Boluarte urged authorities to carry out investigations to identify those responsible for the violence and deaths during the protests.
The social outburst was triggered by former President Pedro Castillo’s removal from office in December and his subsequent arrest on charges of “rebellion” and “conspiracy” after he attempted to dissolve Congress and rule by decree in an effort to avoid impeachment over allegations of corruption.
Boluarte accused Castillo of being responsible for Peru "bleeding to death" and said she was confident that Congress would approve early elections for 2024.
"Mr. Castillo, what we have here is a country that is bleeding as a result of your irresponsibility,” she said.
At the press conference, which lasted more than an hour, Boluarte called for dialogue, peace and unity.
She said she supported the actions taken by the police and accused "radical groups" of creating the chaos.
The government has declared a state of emergency in some regions, which authorizes the security forces to intervene to maintain order.