Peru’s attorney general’s office has opened up an inquiry to investigate newly-installed President Dina Boluarte and Cabinet members for allegations of genocide as to how they have handled the anti-government protests, which have killed 40 people since starting in December.

The protests against Boluarte and the government, triggered after the ouster and arrest of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, and have continued to increase in violence after it restarted recently, with a recent scuffle in Cusco’s airport reportedly resulting in 16 people injured, according to the Associated Press.

The increasing death toll of the protestors, which has recently been updated to 47, has caused the attorney general’s office to open an investigation over the conduct of Boluarte and prominent Cabinet members–which includes Prime Minister Alberto Otarola, Defense Minister Jorge Chavez, and Interior Minister Victor Rojas, The Guardian reported.

This new investigation of Boluarte for “genocide, qualified homicide, and serious injuries” was triggered by Monday’s incident in the Puno region where over 17 protestors were reported dead. Human rights groups have been critical of the government’s response to the protests, saying that they have been responding violently and using firearms against the protestors, Al Jazeera reported.

Boluarte and her Cabinet members have not responded to the accusations. Due to the increasing amount of violence that the protests and the response to them have created, Otarola announced a curfew on Tuesday between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. in the Puno region that will last three days.

The protests, triggered by the ouster and arrest of Castillo, have been demanding, among other things, the man’s release, the resignation of Boluarte, early elections, and the closure of Congress. While Boluarte has moved towards considering earlier elections, she and her administration has been resistant to the other demands of the protests.

The government response has been criticized internationally by human rights groups as violent, and Amnesty International has called for them to stop using a “disproportionate use of force” against the civilians in the country after the Monday casualties.

“The escalation of violence taking place in Peru is unacceptable. State repression against demonstrators and the loss of human lives is exacerbating the crisis,” executive director of Amnesty International Peru Marina Navarro said.

This handout picture released by the Peruvian Presidency shows Peru's new president, Dina Boluarte, speaking during a Council of Ministers in Lima, on December 12, 2022 Peruvian Presidency via AFP / JHONEL RODRIGUEZ ROBLES

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