Peru extends state of emergency as more protests are expected

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Peru extended a state of emergency for another 30 days along the country’s main roadways, including a key mining corridor, as a new round of protests is expected to kick off next week, the country’s prime minister said on Wednesday.

Protests gripped Peru late last year after former President Pedro Castillo was ousted and detained when he illegally attempted to dissolve Congress. He remains jailed and his vice president, Dina Boluarte, has served as president since his removal.

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Subsequent protests included weeks of highway blockades that snarled important supply routes in the world’s no. 2 copper producer.

Prime Minister Alberto Otarola said on Wednesday that the state of emergency, which suspends certain rights, including the freedom of movement, will help keep roads open as Peru celebrates the independence holiday later this month.

The state of emergency will apply in Peru’s southern regions of Apurimac, Cusco and Arequipa, which are home to a southern mining corridor that will be placed under the control of the army and police.

The mining corridor is key for transporting copper from some of the country’s most important mines, including Las Bambas, which is one of the world’s largest copper mines and is owned by China’s MMG Ltd.

Leftist political groups and unions have announced the fresh round of protests will start on July 19, with the intention to march on the capital Lima. They are calling for Boluarte’s resignation, the closure of Congress, a new constitution, and early elections.

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