The appointment of interim president Fernando Sagasti, a consensual personality, was not enough. Thousands of Peruvians took to the streets on Saturday, November 21, to demand justice after the death of two young demonstrators a week earlier and to protest against the inaction of the Constitutional Court (TC). The latter had refused, two days earlier, to comment on the legality of the dismissal, on November 9, of President Martin Vizcarra, replaced by the then president of Congress, Manuel Merino.
Above all, the demonstrators consider that the coming to power of Mr. Sagasti on November 17, after the resignation of Mr. Merino under pressure from the street, is a cautery on a wooden leg: they are now calling for a reform of the Constitution.
In Lima, hundreds of posters, funeral wreaths and banners were hung on the gates of the Superior Court of Justice on Saturday, in memory of Inti Sotelo Camargo (24) and Jack Bryan Pintado Sanchez (22). Autopsies determined that the two young men – who took part in a massive demonstration on November 14 against the dismissal by 105 parliamentarians of President Vizcarra and the seizure of power by Manuel Merino – received several lead hits.
The decision of the Constitutional Court was eagerly awaited by a population exasperated by what it interpreted as an institutional coup d’état by a Congress whose parliamentarians defend their particular interests more than those of the country. Four out of seven magistrates decided not to comment on the concept of “permanent moral incapacity” which had been used by Congress to declare vacant the presidential chair and to dismiss Martin Vizcarra.
Many voices condemned the TC’s failure to take a position. “This leaves open the possibility that this Parliament or another applies to the President of the Republic – including the current one – the vague provision which allowed the legislative coup d’etat of November 9th », denounces the newspaper La Republica in an editorial.
“The TC has turned its back on the country, regretted in a Tweet the ex-president Vizcarra. Millions of Peruvians take to the streets, lives are sacrificed to defend democracy, and for them [les magistrats], Nothing happened. What a desappointment ! “ In an Ipsos poll, 13% of those questioned claimed to have demonstrated in the days following the impeachment, and 73% said they had not participated in the protests but had supported them.
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