As protests against the ouster of Peru’s President Pedro Castillo continue to escalate, the government has declared a state of emergency on Wednesday as they believe that the increasingly violent and open dissatisfaction with the country’s government necessitates “a forceful and authoritative response.”

The declaration suspends the people’s right to free assembly as well as their ability to move freely in the country, and allows the military to search people’s homes without a judicial order or without permission, which Defense Minister Luis Otarola Peñaranda said was agreed to by the country’s council of ministers as necessary, according to the Associated Press.

Peru, which has been having tumultuous few years with a high turnover of government, has been shaken by the recent ousting of Castillo, who was replaced with his Vice President Dina Boluarte after being impeached by a hostile Congress that he attempted to dissolve, according to BBC.

Castillo has been charged with rebellion and accused of attempting to find political asylum in Mexico. A hearing on the case was postponed recently after he refused to participatein it.

While many had disagreed with Castillo’s action to dissolve Congress, his supporters have started protesting calling for an earlier election to replace the current Congress. Peruvians have expressed their distrust on the new government, and are also calling for the release of Castillo and the resignation of Boluarte from the position.

Boluarte has attempted to quell the escalating protests within the country by announcing a potential early election in April 2024 or December 2023, but this has done little to decrease the tensions between the government and the masses.

“The only thing I can tell you sisters and brothers (is) to keep calm,” she said. “We have already lived through this experience in the ’80s and ’90s, and I believe that we do not want to return to that painful history.”

Jorge Aragón, a political science professor, has said that the state of emergency declaration is an admission from the government that it cannot keep control of the protests and maintain stability of the country without the use of force. Others, like college student Luis Torres, agree with this sentiment. “This measure is disproportionate. It shows the political precariousness of the government that Mrs. Dina Boluarte is having now,” he said.

Peru's new President Dina Boluarte was scrambling to form a government after the country was thrown into political chaos AFP / Cris BOURONCLE

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