In his weekly message on Sunday at St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis pleaded for a peaceful resolution to the Peruvian protests that have engulfed the country as many call for the resignation of its President Dina Boluarte.

During his weekly appearance at the Apostolic Palace in front of over 15,000 people, Pope Francis relayed his calls for a peaceful resolution in Peru’s current anti-government protests, saying that he is joining in with an appeal from Peruvian bishops to call for an end to the violence, according to the Associated Press.

“Violence extinguishes hope for a just solution to the problems,” he said. “I encourage all sides involved to take up the path of dialogue among brothers in the same nation, in the full respect of human rights and of the rule of law.”

Francis, who is a native of Argentina before he became pope, also pointed out that many Peruvians were a part of the crowd that day as his message was delivered. He also exclaimed in Spanish his calls for peace in Peru, “No to violence, from whatever part it comes! No more deaths!”

The protests in Peru first began in December when then-President Pedro Castillo was ousted by Congress and replaced by Dina Boluarte. Since then, the protests have centered around her resignation, the closure of Congress, an earlier schedule of elections, and changes to be made in the Constitution, ABC News reported.

Most of the protests and the violence have been centered around the southern parts of the country until last week when protesters descended to the capital city of Peru to let their demands be heard by the government.

The government has responded violently to the protests for the past few months, with over 55 people so far being killed in the process, and Boluarte refusing to resign from her position. They have also declared a state of emergency twice since the protests began.

Pope Francis Peru Statements Rep. Pic
Pope Francis on Sunday has called for the peaceful resolution of the protests in Peru, calling for a dialogue between the protestors and the government to prevent further violence in the country. This is a representational image. Ashwin Vaswani/Unsplash.

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