Popular rebellion in Southern Peru

Hundreds of protesters clashed with the police in the Southern city of Arequipa on Monday, during a furious demonstration against the privatization of the two country’s largest electricity companies, Reuters reports. As a result of the clashes, one of the rioters was reported killed, many wounded and the police informed of millionaire material damages to public and private property in the adjacencies of city’s main square.

The reaction of President Toledo’s, came soon: State of Siege has been decreed for thirty days in the area to control a possible wide spreading of the conflict. Arequipa, second largest city of the country after its Capital, Lima, looks now overfilled of army troops and police personnel.

Despite the riots and protests, President Alejandro Toledo, expressed Government will of continuing with the privatization process, considered crucial to reduce Peruvian public deficit. In turn, Arequipa’s major, Mr Juan Guillen, declared himself in hunger strike to reject National Government decision.

President Toledo, had promised during his presidential campaign not to sell such electricity companies to Tractebel, corporation blamed on bribery during Alberto Fujimori’s administration. This promise let Toledo obtain a great number of votes in the region. However, privatization went ahead and promise was not fulfilled.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

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