News: Protests in Peru, high-level talks amid a worsening crisis
The Council of State, a body comprised of representatives from all branches of power, and the country’s religious leaders have been meeting in Lima, the country’s capital.
Earlier, two government ministers resigned after days of violent protests over Pedro Castillo’s impeachment on December 7.
More than 20 people have died.
In another development, thousands of tourists are stranded in Cusco, Peru’s southernmost city, after protesters forced the airport to close.
Peru has been in political turmoil for years, with the most recent crisis escalating when Mr Castillo announced he was dissolving Congress and declaring a state of emergency.
However, his strategy backfired, and Congress instead overwhelmingly voted to impeach him. Mr Castillo is currently detained and is being investigated for rebellion and conspiracy.
He denies all charges and maintains that he is still the country’s legitimate president.
Demonstrators are demanding that Congress be closed, that new President Dina Boluarte resign, and that early elections be held. On Friday, Congress voted down a proposal to move elections to next year.
Peru’s political crisis has taken dramatic turns.
At least eight people were killed in clashes between the army and Castillo supporters in the central Ayacucho region on Thursday, according to health officials. Protesters were seen on social media blocking major roads and airports.
Just hours later, Education Minister Patricia Correa announced her resignation. In a Twitter post on Friday, she wrote that the “death of compatriots has no justification”, and that “state violence cannot be disproportionate and cause death”.
Jair Perez, the Minister of Culture, has also resigned.
The protests are also having an impact on the country’s tourism industry. According to the mayor of Cusco, approximately 5,000 tourists are stranded in the city after the airport closed due to protesters attempting to storm the terminal.
The city serves as the entry point to Macchu Picchu, an ancient Inca citadel visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year.
Around 800 tourists are also stranded in the small town at the foot of the mountain where the citadel is located because the railway line that serves it has been shut down.