The head of Peru’s Congress has called for the immediate resignation of interim President Manuel Merino.
This came after a violent crackdown on protests against his new Government left at least three dead and more than 60 injured.
Channels TV reports that thousands have taken to the streets in days of protests against Merino, following the ouster of his popular predecessor Martin Vizcarra, who was impeached on corruption allegations on Monday, November 9, 2020.
In a statement on Saturday night, November 14, 2020, Congress head Luis Valdez said: “I ask Mr Merino to evaluate his immediate resignation.”
A statement released later on the Congress Twitter account said Lawmakers will meet in an emergency session on Sunday, November 14, 2020, to discuss Merino’s resignation.
The ultimatum came after news of the death of three protesters during a massive and peaceful march in Lima, which was violently repressed by Police firing shotgun pellets and tear gas.
Lima mayor Jorge Munoz, from the same centre-right Popular Action party as Merino, also demanded the resignation of the President.
“I just found out about the third death” in the protests, said the Archbishop of Lima, Carlos Castillo, deploring the police crackdown in a statement to State Television.
Police reported two deaths, while the National Human Rights Coordinator indicated it was investigating whether there were four.
The Ombudsman’s Office said the first fatality, a 25-year-old man, was killed by pellet shots to the head and face; while the Health Ministry said at least 63 protesters were injured.
The Police tactics have been criticized by the UN and rights organizations such as Amnesty International since the protests began on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.