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Peru faces food, fuel shortages as protesters dig in

Peru faces food, fuel shortages as protesters dig in

Peru faces food, fuel shortages as protesters dig in

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        <span class="t-location">Lima (AFP) – </span>In Peru, shortages of basic commodities, including increasingly expensive fuel and food, continued on Wednesday as more than a month of anti-government protests showed no signs of ending.        </p><div>

        <p>Dozens of roadblocks have hampered freight shipments to the south of the country, where protests have been the most intense since the ouster of former president Pedro Castillo in early December.

Rallies demanding the resignation of incoming president Dina Boluarte have repeatedly turned violent, with 46 people killed in clashes between security forces and protesters.

Thousands of villagers have moved to the capital, Lima, as anti-government movements gather momentum in poorer parts of the south, where violent clashes erupted on Tuesday, resulting in injuries and arrests.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – Peru’s most popular fuel for cars and homes – is becoming increasingly difficult to find in the southern regions of Arequipa, Tacna and Puno.

<div class="m-em-image">
Residents of Arequipa queue for liquid fuels and liquefied petroleum gas (GLP) at a train station in the southern city of Peru on January 25, 2023. © Diego Ramos / AFP
    </div>All three are heavily indigenous and relatively poor, with protesters from the region claiming abandonment and discrimination by Lima officials.

“We were told there was no more LPG in Arequipa,” national taxi driver representative Alexander Cornejo told RPP radio station.

About 7,000 taxi drivers in the region are affected by the shortage.

Prices for basic groceries such as potatoes and tomatoes have tripled in the city of Puno, which has seen its worst riots since December 7.

Peru’s Ministry of Transport reported Wednesday that 85 road blocks remain across the country.

“Vegetables and fruit prices have gone up. Everything has gone up. I think the cars that supply us should be allowed through,” Jacqueline Flores told AFP in Puno.

big mess

The Amazon region of Madre de Dios, which borders Peru with Brazil and Bolivia, reported food and fuel shortages after protesters blocked the main Interoceanica Sur highway.

Governor Luis Otsuka said that if the road blockade continues, we will have to try to source food and fuel from Brazil and Bolivia.

<div class="m-em-image">
Demonstrators clash with riot police during protests in Lima, 24 January 2023
Demonstrators clash with riot police during protests in Lima, 24 January 2023 © ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP/Files
    </div>Bolarte, who called for a "national truce" to end the crisis on Tuesday, has been accused by rights groups of suppressing protests and alleged disproportionate use of force by security forces.

Rejecting her call, thousands marched again in Lima on Tuesday, sparking several clashes between police and protesters.

Several people were arrested and several injured, including two photographers.

Boruarte on Wednesday held a video conference with the Organization of American States (OAS) to discuss the situation in Peru.

The airport in Cusco’s tourist hub was temporarily closed on Tuesday night due to protests, but reopened on Wednesday, according to the transport ministry.

Train services from the city of Cusco to Machu Picchu’s famous Inca citadel were also suspended after demonstrators blocked the tracks with bricks.

Many times in Machu Picchu or Cusco, dozens to hundreds of tourists were stranded.

    </div>

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