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Peru: Police Officer Burned To Death Amid Protests

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LIMA, Peru – Authorities said on Tuesday that a police officer on duty in the Peruvian region of Puno was attacked by protesters and burned to death. This made the death toll from riots after former President Pedro Castillo was removed from office to 47.

According to police sources, José Luis Soncco Quispe was on patrol with a fellow officer in Juliaca, a city on the border with Bolivia, when they were attacked by a mob that later set fire to their car.

Ronald Villasante Toque, who was in the patrol car with Soncco, said that the men were “held and violently abused by about 350 protestors,” according to the reports.

Villasante was attacked and transported to a hospital in Lima with serious brain injuries. He claimed he had no idea what was going on with his partner.

Officer Tied Up And Beaten

In a session of Congress, Prime Minister Alberto Otárola from Peru confirmed Soncco’s death, saying protesters attacked the men.

“When police got on the site, they discovered that one cop had been battered and tied up, and the other, Luis Soncco Quispe, had tragically died,” he stated. “In his patrol car, he was burned alive.”

Otárola declared a three-day curfew in Puno from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and a day of mourning for the slain on Wednesday.

According to Peru’s Ombudsman’s Office, 39 citizens have been killed in fights with police since the protests began in early December following Castillo’s removal, and another seven have died in road accidents, in addition to the fallen police officer.

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17 Deaths In Juliaca Peru

After 17 people were killed in Juliaca Peru, the officer was killed when rallies for early elections started again in Castillo’s strongholds in rural areas that had been ignored.

After a widely criticized attempt to get rid of Congress and keep Castillo from being impeached, he was removed from office and arrested. This started the riot.

Dina Boluarte, who will take over for Castillo, was his running mate in the last election. She has backed a plan to move the presidential and congressional elections from 2026 to 2024. She has also supported judicial inquiries on whether security officers used excessive force.

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No End In Sight For Protests

But so far, these steps haven’t been enough to stop the unrest, which, after a short break over Christmas and New Year’s, has come back with a vengeance in some of Peru’s poorest neighborhoods, where support for Castillo’s unusual way of running the country was strongest.

Castillo, a newcomer to politics in Peru who won by a small margin in the 2021 elections, shook Peru’s political establishment and showed that Lima residents and the countryside, which had been ignored for a long time, were very different.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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HAITI: Haitians Scramble To Survive, Seeking Food, Water And Safety As Gang Violence Chokes The Capital

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti – As the sun sets, a hefty man yells into a megaphone, drawing a curious crowd around him. Next to him is a little cardboard box containing many currencies worth 10 Haitian gourdes, or around 7 US cents.

“Everyone give whatever they have!” the man yells as he grabs the arms and hands of individuals approaching a district in the capital of Port-au-Prince that has been targeted by violent gangs.

The community recently voted to purchase a metal barricade and construct it themselves in an effort to protect inhabitants from the unrelenting violence that killed or maimed over 2,500 people in Haiti between January and March.

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HAITI Scramble To Survive, Seeking Food, Water And Safety As Gang Violence Chokes The Capital

“Every day, I wake up and find a dead body,” said Noune-Carme Manoune, an immigration officer.

Life in Port-au-Prince has become a survival game, pushing Haitians to their limits as they struggle to keep secure and alive while gangs outnumber the police and the government is mainly absent. Some are erecting metal barricades. Others accelerate aggressively as they approach gang-controlled regions. The few who can afford it hoard water, food, money, and medicine, all of which have become scarce since the main international airport shuttered in early March. Marauding bandits have effectively stopped the country’s largest ports.

“People in the capital are trapped; they have nowhere to go,” stated Philippe Branchat, the International Organization for Migration’s leader in Haiti, in a recent statement. “The capital is surrounded by armed groups and threats. “The city is under siege.”

Phones frequently buzz with warnings reporting gunshots, kidnappings, and fatal shootings, and some shops have so many armed guards that they resemble tiny police stations.

Gang attacks were once limited to specific places, but they can now occur anywhere and at any time. Staying at home does not ensure safety: A stray gunshot hit a man in the back while he was playing with his daughter at home. Others were killed.

Schools and petrol stations are closed, with fuel on the illicit market retailing for $9 per gallon, or about three times the official price. Banks now ban consumers from withdrawing more than $100 per day, and cheques that used to clear in three days now take a month or more. Police officers must wait weeks to be paid.

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Haitians Scramble To Survive, Seeking Food, Water And Safety As Gang Violence Chokes The Capital

“Everyone is under stress,” said Isidore Gédéon, a 38-year-old guitarist. “People are distrustful of one another following the prison breach. The state does not have control.”

On February 29, gangs with an estimated 80% control of Port-au-Prince initiated coordinated attacks on crucial governmental infrastructure. They set fire to police stations, attacked the airport, and stormed Haiti’s two largest prisons, freeing over 4,000 inmates.

At the time, Prime Minister Ariel Henry was in Kenya to advocate for the deployment of a police force supported by the United Nations. Henry is still barred from entering Haiti, and a transitional presidential committee charged with appointing the country’s new prime minister and Cabinet might be inaugurated in as soon as this week. Henry has promised to quit once a new leader has been installed.

Few expect that this will be the end of the crisis. Not only are gangs causing bloodshed, but Haitians have also embraced a vigilante movement known as “bwa kale,” which has slain several hundred suspected gang members or associates.

“There are certain communities I can’t go to because everyone is scared of everyone,” he stated. “You could be innocent, and you end up dead.”

In only one month, more than 95,000 people have fled Port-au-Prince as gangs invade towns, torch homes, and kill people in opposing territory.

Those fleeing by bus to Haiti’s southern and northern provinces face the possibility of being gang-raped or killed as they transit through gang-controlled areas where gunmen have opened fire.

According to the International Organization for Migration, violence in the capital has rendered approximately 160,000 people homeless.

“This is hell,” said Nelson Langlois, a producer and camera operator.

Langlois, his wife, and their three children spent two nights sleeping flat on their home’s roof as gangs raided the neighborhood.

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Haitians Scramble To Survive, Seeking Food, Water And Safety As Gang Violence Chokes The Capital

“Time after time, we peered over to see when we could flee,” he said.

Langlois, who was forced to split up due to a lack of shelter, now lives at a Vodou temple while his wife and children reside somewhere in Port-au-Prince.

Langlois, like the majority of city dwellers, spends much of his time indoors. The days of playing pickup soccer on dirt roads and drinking Prestige beer in pubs while listening to hip-hop, reggae, or African music are over.

“It’s an open-air prison,” Langlois explained.

The violence has also pushed companies, government organizations, and schools to close, leaving many Haitians unemployed.

Manoune, a government immigration official, stated that she has been making money by selling treated water because she is out of work due to postponed deportations.

Meanwhile, Gédéon stated that he no longer plays the drums for a living, saying that pubs and other venues have closed. He sells small plastic bags of water on the street and has worked as a handyman, repairing fans and fixing appliances.

As the crisis worsens poverty in Haiti, students are also entering the workforce.

Sully, a tenth-grade student whose school stopped over two months ago, stood on a street corner in Pétion-Ville, selling fuel he bought on the illegal market.

“You have to be careful,” added Sully, who requested that his last name be omitted for safety reasons. “During the morning it’s safer.”

He sells approximately five gallons every week, earning about $40 for his family, but he can’t afford to join his classmates who are learning online.

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Haitians Scramble To Survive, Seeking Food, Water And Safety As Gang Violence Chokes The Capital

“Online class is for people more fortunate than me, who have more money,” he remarked.

The European Union confirmed last week the establishment of a humanitarian air bridge from Panama to Haiti. Five flights arrived in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti’s only working airport, bringing 62 tons of medicine, water, emergency shelter equipment, and other crucial supplies.However, crucial items cannot be guaranteed to reach those in most need. Many Haitians are still confined in their homes, unable to buy or look for food amid flying gunshots.

According to aid organizations, approximately 2 million Haitians are on the edge of hunger, including over 600,000 children.

Nonetheless, individuals are devising strategies to survive.

Back in the area, residents are putting up a metal barricade, and sparks fly as one man cuts metal while others shovel and mix concrete. They are well into the project and aim to complete it soon.

Others are doubtful, noting accounts of gangs jumping into loaders and other heavy machinery to demolish police stations and, most lately, metal barricades.

SOURCE – (AP)

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North Korea Fires Suspected Short-Range Missiles Into The Sea In Its Latest Weapons Test

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea test-fired suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Monday, according to its neighbors, as anticipation grew that it might soon send a forbidden satellite into orbit.

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the weapons launched from the North’s capital region flew for roughly 300 kilometers (185 miles) before crashing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The ranges indicate that the weapons might target locations in South Korea.

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North Korea Fires Suspected Short-Range Missiles Into The Sea In Its Latest Weapons Test

The Joint Chiefs of Staff sharply criticized the launches, calling them a “clear provocation” that jeopardized peace on the Korean Peninsula. It stated that it will be prepared to “overwhelmingly” respond to North Korean provocations in accordance with its military alliance with the United States.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, told reporters that North Korea launched at least one ballistic missile that flew 250 kilometers (155 miles) at a maximum height of 50 kilometers (30 miles). He claimed that North Korea’s frequent missile testing and other provocative activities endanger the peace and security of Japan, the region, and the international community.

The Japanese coast guard advised ships to exercise caution around falling items, although there were no immediate reports of damage.

North Korea has escalated its weapons testing in recent months as it seeks to improve its military capabilities, while diplomacy with the United States and South Korea has stalled. According to observers, North Korea believes that upgrading its military arsenal will give it leverage to gain larger concessions from the United States if negotiations begin.

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North Korea Fires Suspected Short-Range Missiles Into The Sea In Its Latest Weapons Test

North Korea announced on Saturday that it tested a “super-large” cruise missile warhead and a new anti-aircraft missile in a western coastal area last week. North Korea also tested a solid-fuel intermediate-range missile with hypersonic warhead capabilities in early April, a weapon experts believe is intended to attack remote sites in the United States Pacific island of Guam and elsewhere.

North Korea has already tested nuclear-armed missiles capable of striking targets in South Korea, Japan, and the mainland United States. Many experts believe North Korea already has nuclear missiles capable of reaching all of South Korea and Japan, but it has yet to create operational intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental United States.

In response to North Korea’s growing nuclear threats, the United States and South Korea have increased bilateral military drills and trilateral exercises with Japan. Kim Myung-soo, chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with U.S. Space Command Commander Stephen N. on Monday to discuss addressing North Korean threats, according to the South Korean military.

Some experts believe North Korea may launch its second spy satellite this month to commemorate a significant milestone, such as the April 15 birthday of its founder, Kim Il Sung, the late grandfather of leader Kim Jong Un, or the April 25 founding anniversary of a predecessor of the North’s military.

Resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council prohibit North Korea from launching ballistic missiles or satellites. The world body views a satellite launch as a test of its banned ballistic missile technology.

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AP – VOR News Image

North Korea Fires Suspected Short-Range Missiles Into The Sea In Its Latest Weapons Test

South Korea’s military said Monday that it had discovered evidence that North Korea is preparing to launch a spy satellite, but there are no indications that it is near.

North Korea sent its first military spy satellite into orbit in November, although its capabilities are widely questioned. In late December, Kim Jong Un announced that North Korea would launch three additional military spy satellites in 2024.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Israeli Strikes On Southern Gaza City Of Rafah Kill 22, Mostly Children, As US Advances Aid Package

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Rafah, Gaza Strip (AP) Israeli raids on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 22 people, including 18 children, health authorities reported Sunday, as the US prepared to authorize billions of dollars in further military aid to Israel, a key ally.

Israel has conducted near-daily air assaults on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have sought safety from violence elsewhere. It has also threatened to expand its ground offensive against the Hamas militant group to the city on Egypt’s border, despite international pleas for restraint, especially from the United States.

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Israeli Strikes On Southern Gaza City Of Rafah Kill 22, Mostly Children, As US Advances Aid Package

“In the next few days, we will escalate political and military pressure on Hamas because it is the only way to free our hostages and accomplish victory. “We will deliver more and painful blows to Hamas – soon,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned in a statement. He did not provide any details.

The first Israeli strike in Rafah killed a man, his wife, and their three-year-old child, according to the adjacent Kuwaiti Hospital that received the bodies. The woman was pregnant, and physicians were able to save her baby, according to the hospital.

According to hospital records, the second strike killed 17 children and two women who were all members of the same extended family. Mohammed al-Beheiri stated that his daughter Rasha and her six children, the youngest of whom is 18 months old, were among those killed. Her husband’s second wife and their three children remained under the rubble, according to al-Beheiri.

According to local health professionals, the Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, decimated Gaza’s two major cities, and left a trail of ruin. Approximately 80% of the territory’s population has evacuated to other areas of the beleaguered coastal enclave.

The House of Representatives approved a $26 billion aid package on Saturday, including approximately $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the verge of famine. The Senate might vote on the measure as early as Tuesday, and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it quickly.

The fight, now in its seventh month, has caused regional instability, pitting Israel and the United States against Iran and other extremist organizations in the Middle East. This month, Israel and Iran exchanged direct fire, sparking fears of an all-out war between the old adversaries.

Tensions have also increased in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli troops killed two Palestinians who allegedly rushed a checkpoint with a knife and a gun near the southern West Bank town of Hebron early Sunday. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the two people slain were 18 and 19 years old and from the same household. According to the IDF, no Israeli personnel were harmed.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent rescue organization reported recovering 14 bodies during an Israeli raid on the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank, which began late Thursday. Three Islamic Jihad members were slain, as was a 15-year-old child. The military says it killed ten militants at the camp and apprehended eight others. Nine Israeli soldiers and officers were wounded.

In a separate incident in the West Bank, an Israeli man was injured by an explosion on Sunday, according to the Magen David Adom rescue agency. A video circulating online depicts a guy approaching a Palestinian flag put in a field. When he kicks it, it appears to set off an explosive device.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, Israeli soldiers and settlers have murdered at least 469 Palestinians in the West Bank since the beginning of the Gaza conflict. Most have been slain during Israeli military incursions, which frequently result in gunfights or in violent protests.

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Israeli Strikes On Southern Gaza City Of Rafah Kill 22, Mostly Children, As US Advances Aid Package

The war in Gaza began with an extraordinary invasion into southern Israel on October 7, in which Hamas and other militants killed over 1,200 persons, the majority of whom were civilians, and kidnapped about 250 captives. According to Israel, militants continue to hold approximately 100 hostages as well as the corpses of more than 30 more.

Thousands of Israelis have marched to the streets, demanding new elections to replace Netanyahu and an agreement with Hamas to rescue the hostages. Netanyahu has vowed to prolong the battle until Hamas is defeated and all captives are released.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least 34,097 Palestinians have died in the conflict, with another 76,980 injured. The ministry does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its figure but says at least two-thirds were children and women. It further states that the true toll is likely higher because many dead are trapped beneath the rubble or in regions where medics cannot reach.

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AP – VOR News Image

Israeli Strikes On Southern Gaza City Of Rafah Kill 22, Mostly Children, As US Advances Aid Package

Israel accuses Hamas of civilian casualties since the militants operate in densely populated residential areas. The military rarely responds to individual strikes, which frequently murder women and children. The military claims to have killed over 13,000 Hamas fighters without presenting evidence.

SOURCE – (AP)

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