President Dina Boluarte during the press conference with foreign media, on January 24, 2023 at the government palace in Lima.

Photo: AP.

The president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, called this Tuesday for "a national truce" to appease the protests demanding her resignation, during a press conference in which she defended the "immaculate" work of the police and affirmed that the demonstrations are promoted by drug traffickers, illegal miners and smugglers.

Boluarte, vice president in the government of Pedro Castillo, who was sworn in on December 7 as the new president after the removal and arrest of the first president of rural origin in Peru, said that the truce seeks to establish dialogue tables.

The protests erupted after Castillo's dismissal and arrest on December 7, but, after resuming on January 4, social rights, inequality, and racial discrimination in forgotten historical areas of Peru, with an indigenous majority, were added to the main demands. .

The marches and clashes with the security forces, which until a week ago were mainly in the southern Andes, reached the capital and this Tuesday hundreds of protesters walked the streets of the richest district, San Isidro, calling for the resignation of the representative

The around 60 deaths in less than two months of the Boluarte government, reported by the Ombudsman's Office until Monday, have inflamed the protesters made up mainly of peasants from the Andes, but also by university students and migrants from the Andean region in Lima. .

In the press conference this Tuesday, in contrast to the international concern about the excessive force in the response of the uniformed officers to the demonstrations, the Peruvian president affirmed that the national police have had "immaculate conduct" and maintained that drug traffickers, Illegal miners and smugglers fuel the protests.

The Prime Minister, Alberto Otárola, testified on Monday in a preliminary prosecutor's investigation for "genocide", after the deaths that occurred during the protests of several weeks demanding the resignation of President Boluarte and members of Parliament.

The investigation – which began on January 10 and which adds other crimes such as qualified homicide and serious injuries – also includes Boluarte.

The protests have left

some 60 dead and more than 900 injured, according to the Ombudsman's Office.

According to the agency's reports,

almost all the deceased are civilians.

Most received projectiles from a firearm and some of the victims were hit by shots to the head.

Due to the rank of those investigated, the investigation is in charge of the Attorney General Patricia Benavides.

Genocide is punishable by a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Also included in the inquiry are former Prime Minister Pedro Angulo and other former ministers.

In addition, Boluarte ruled out his resignation.

"I will leave when we have called the general elections," he told the press, reaffirming that he will remain in power until the date agreed by the legislators.

Congress approved this Tuesday the second legislature that will open on February 15, in which the advancement of elections to April 2024 must be confirmed, with the vote in favor of 87 congressmen.

The Peruvian president's call for dialogue and truce came when another day of mobilizations, even more challenging than those of recent days, was called in Lima on Tuesday, with the announced arrival of new contingents in the capital.

According to the Transportation authorities, this Tuesday 85 pickets blocked the passage on highways in nine of the 25 Peruvian regions that are calling for Boluarte's resignation.

In the Ica region, the police used tear gas to unblock several sections of the Panamericana Sur highway that remain closed by dozens of residents.

(With information from AFP and AP)