Peru: Anti-corruption protests continue after new interim president is sworn in

Thousands of protesters returned to the streets of Lima after newly appointed Interim President Francisco Sagasti was sworn in on Tuesday. Sagasti was confirmed as Peru's new interim president following President of the Congress Manuel Merino's resignation just five days after taking office. «The thing is, it's not over yet. Although we have removed Merino, who should not have been there, there are still many people who do not have what it takes to be in charge. Members of Congress, many are corrupt,» said Alexa Davila, one of the protesters. «We have to bring an end to parliamentary immunity so that all the corrupt pay for what they have done and are investigated.» Countless Peruvians took to the streets throughout the country and around the world after Congress voted to oust President Martin Vizcarra, over corruption allegations and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, replacing him with Merino, who was next in line as the leader of Congress. Protesters described the move as a 'parliamentary coup', pointing out that 68 of Peru's 130 members of Congress have pending investigations or sentences for corruption, abuse of power and murder, among others, and that attempts to impeach Vizcarra followed his announcement of a referendum to end parliamentary immunity. He had also dissolved Congress in 2019, calling for snap elections which are planned for April of 2021. Though protesters welcomed Merino's resignation, they are pressing on with demands to end parliamentary immunity, for the return of protesters who went missing, and for those responsible for two protesters' deaths as well as other allegations of human rights violations to be brought to justice. Peru's Public Ministry has opened an investigation for human rights violations against Merino, as well as Prime Minister Antero Florez Araoz and Interior Minister Gaston Rodriguez.

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