Government Declares State of Emergency with Curfew in Lima
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ President Alan Garcia on Friday night imposed a state of emergency in Lima, suspending individual constitutional rights and setting a curfew in response to a recent wave of guerrilla violence in the capital.
In a televised address to the nation, Garcia said he was calling on the military to control the public order during the emergency. He did not say how long it would last, or what the hours of the curfew would be.
″The subversive violence has appeared in the cities to destroy democracy,″ Garcia said.
According to the constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum of 60 days, and gives the president the right to suspend individual rights, order the military to maintain order, and impose a curfew - all of the powers that Garcia outlined in his address.
Earlier in the day, Garcia extended for 60 days a state of emergency that was already effective in 19 counties of four provinces in the so-called insurgency zone, where leftists have been fighting for five years to overthrow a series of democratically-elected governments.
A decree published in the official newspaper El Peruano, had said the emergency would continue in the southeastern provinces of Huancavelica, Apurimac, and Ayacucho, birthplace of the Maoist-oriented Shining Path guerrillas; and also in the northeastern province of Huanuco.
It was the first time there had been a curfew in Lima since Peru ended 12 years of military dictatorship in 1980. Areas of the guerrilla warfare zone in southeastern Peru, however, have been under a curfew since the start of the insurgency by Maoist Shining Path guerrillas nearly six years ago.
In the last three weeks of violence, the residents of the capital have awakened on five mornings to pre-dawn bomb attacks on banks, state-related offices, restaruants and plush nightspots. It is the worst violence the capital has seen since the insurgency began.
Guerrillas of the Shining Path, as well as rebels of the pro-castro Tupac Amaru revolutionary movement have been blamed.
The state of emergency was first imposed in the guerrilla warfare zone in December 1982, when former president Fernando Belaunde Terry ordered the military to take control of the counter-insurgency around Ayacucho. The death toll in the war has increased 25 times since then.
More than 5,000 peasants, rebels, and soldiers have been killed since the guerrilla war began.