President Pedro Castillo announces lifting of curfew following protests against rising fuel prices, tolls and food prices in the Andean country.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo has announced the end of a curfew in the capital Lima aimed at containing protests against rising fuel prices following crisis talks with Congress.
"We will with immediate effect remove this immobility (curfew). We call on the Peruvian people to be calm," said the leftist leader late on Tuesday, alongside Congress president Maria del Carmen Alva.
Protests had erupted across the South American country in recent days due to a hike in fuel prices and tolls, during a time of rising food prices.
In an attempt to appease protesters, the government eliminated the fuel tax over the weekend.
But truckers and other transport workers took to the streets again on Monday in Lima, as well as several regions in the north – from the coastal city Piura to the densely forested Amazonas.
Fuel and wage woes
Earlier, Prime Minister Anibal Torres in an interview with state-owned outlet TV Peru said that the mandatory lockdown could also be put in place in the interior of the country if unrest did not stop
"If this situation persists, (the lockdown) can be extended to the rest of the country, but I think people will understand and will not accept vandalistic acts."
Like much of the rest of the world, Peru's economy is still recovering from the damages wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
The country's Consumer Price Index in March saw its highest monthly increase in 26 years, driven by soaring food, transport and education prices, according to the national statistics institute.
The multi-region demonstration was largely organised by the Union of Multimodal Transport Guilds of Peru.
To appease them, the government eliminated the fuel tax over the weekend and Castillo decreed a 10 percent increase in the monthly minimum wage - which would rise to $277 beginning in May.
But the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers, the country's main trade union confederation, rejected the wage hike, stating it was insufficient and called on its affiliates to march on Thursday.
Influential journalist Rosa Maria Palacios said on Twitter that Castillo's 11th-hour announcement of a curfew only revealed how the government had "lost all control of public order".