LIMA (AFP) – A farm worker who took part in a road block protest in Peru died on Wednesday (April 6) following clashes with police while several others were injured, a hospital said.
The violence came a day after President Pedro Castillo called off a curfew in Lima aimed at curbing nationwide protests against rising fuel prices.
“Fifteen injured people have come in, we have one seriously injured. There is a civilian who came in dead as a result of the conflict,” Carlos Navea, director of the hospital in Ica some 300 kilometres south of Lima, said on Facebook.
Navea said the injured were made up of 12 police officers and three civilians.
A farm workers leader told RPP radio the dead man was a 25-year-old from Huancavelica who worked for a company in Ica.
The clashes broke out after police tried to break up a blockade by dozens of farm workers on the Pan-Americana highway, the country’s most important artery for people and goods.
The fertile Ica region is a hub of the Peruvian agricultural industry.
Tensions had been building in Peru since Monday when protests broke out in Lima, Ica and other parts of the country over rising food and fuel prices.
Castillo reacted by calling a curfew in Lima on Tuesday but was forced to call it off early following a widespread backlash.
That brought celebrations from protesters outside parliament, where the leftist leader met with the opposition-controlled Congress seeking a resolution to the crisis.
It is the first time in the 52-year-old former rural school teacher’s eight months in charge that he has faced a social protest movement.