Peruvian government in crisis

Demonstrators gather during protests following the impeachment of President Martin Vizcarra, in Lima, Peru November 12, 2020. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

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By Ellsworth Dickson

The government of Peru, the world’s second biggest copper producer, is trying to recover from a crisis following the impeachment of President Martin Vizcarra. Bloomberg reported that Peru’s currency tumbled to an all-time low.

The impeachment led to thousands of mostly peaceful protestors on the streets upset over Vizcarra’s impeachment. This continued for six nights in a row. They were met by hard tactics of the police who reportedly shot two protestors to death, wounded more, as well as 94 people injured. One report said 41 protestors were missing.

An Interim President, Manuel Merino, was sworn in. Reuters reported that lawmakers threatened to impeach Interim President Merino unless he stepped down. The protestors also wanted Merino to step down. He did and at Sunday midnight an attempt was made to install a new president – Rocío Silva-Santisteban, a leftist human rights defender – which failed.

Peru’s Congress will vote at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) and try again to place a new president into office – this time, lawmaker Francisco Sagasti, a 76-year-old industrial engineer and former World Bank official.

Sources in Peru told Resource World that he doesn’t expect the political crisis to seriously affect the exploration and mining sector once things settle down, which he said is expected soon.

All this is happening when the COVID-10 pandemic has caused Peru’s worst economic contraction in a century.

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