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Police clash with protesters in Peru

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Riot police used tear gas to disperse protesters in Peru’s capital Lima, as thousands of people took part in anti-government marches across the country.

Demonstrators want embattled President Pedro Castillo to resign over allegations of corruption.

The left-wing leader, who unexpectedly won power last year, is the subject of six criminal investigations but denies any wrongdoing.

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No injuries were reported immediately after police fired tear gas canisters in Lima to stop demonstrators from reaching government buildings.

Protests were also reported in a handful of other Peruvian cities while groups of Castillo’s supporters organised a march of their own in a Lima square.

Following his 2021 victory in a highly polarised vote, Castillo has survived two attempts to oust him from his job through impeachment.

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He was also the subject of a constitutional complaint last month from the attorney-general, who accused him and his family members of being behind a criminal organisation.

The former schoolteacher and strike leader insisted he and his relatives had committed no offences, complaining that his rivals were attempting to unseat him.

On Saturday, Castillo tweeted a defiant message aimed at “the usual enemies” who he blamed for “false accusations” vowing to continue to fight to free people from inequality.

Peru has seen a number of presidents ousted from office in recent years. In 2020, it had three heads of state in the space of five days.—BBC

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