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Protests Spread in Peru

Machu Picchu has closed indefinitely as unrest spreads from the country’s south.

By , a global affairs journalist and the author of The Influence of Soros and Bad Jews.
People protest outside a police building in Peru.
People protest outside a police building in Peru.
People protest outside a police building to demand the liberation of people arrested at the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 21. ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images

Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we’re looking at unrest in Peru, more challenges to the new Israeli government, and a new prime minister in New Zealand.

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Unrest in Peru Spreads

Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we’re looking at unrest in Peru, more challenges to the new Israeli government, and a new prime minister in New Zealand.

If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here.


Unrest in Peru Spreads

The anti-government protests that began last month in Peru have spread across the country to such an extent that Machu Picchu, the Incan citadel and popular tourist site, was shut down indefinitely “to protect the safety of tourists and the population in general,” according to the countrys culture ministry.

More than 400 tourists, including around 300 foreigners, are reportedly stuck in Machu Picchu. The train service to the site has been suspended since Thursday because tracks have been damaged.

Protests began last month after President Pedro Castillo, the first Peruvian leader of rural Andean background, tried to dissolve Congress and was impeached and imprisoned. More than 55 people have died so far. The protesters are demanding new elections and the dissolution of Congress. Castillo has been detained on rebellion charges. Until recently, however, protests were concentrated in the country’s south.

Police also violently raided a university in Lima, the capital, this weekend. Thousands of people, many of whom are from the south, marched on the city over the past few days.

To some, the protests represent an uprising of Indigenous southerners against the Lima elite. To others, particularly as the protests and ensuing unrest spread, they are a test of whether the country’s democratic institutions can hold.


The World This Week 

Monday, Jan. 23: The European Union Foreign Affairs Council meets to discuss Ukraine.

Tuesday, Jan. 24: The United Nations Security Council meets to discuss the situation in Haiti.

Wednesday, Jan. 25: Former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Thursday, Jan. 26: Turkey’s quarterly inflation report comes out.

Friday, Jan. 27: Czechs head back to the polls for the presidential election runoff.


What We’re Following Today 

Netanyahu fires Deri. Days after the Israeli high court ruled that Aryeh Deri was not fit to be in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet and needed to be removed, Netanyahu has complied. However, Netanyahu said he made the move “with a heavy heart, with great sorrow” and vowed to find “any legal way whereby [Deri] can continue to contribute to the state of Israel.” Deri, for his part, will continue to lead his party, Shas, and was at a meeting of coalition heads shortly after his firing.

The court ruling and Deri’s firing came the same weekend as tens of thousands protested, again, against changes proposed by Netanyahu’s government—under Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin—that would weaken the country’s judiciary. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reportedly raised the issue of judicial overhaul with Netanyahu during their meeting last week.

New PM for New Zealand. Following Jacinda Ardern’s surprise resignation last week, a replacement prime minister has emerged: Chris Hipkins, a Labour Party member and the minister of police, education, and public service. Members of his party voted unanimously to endorse him on Sunday. (He was also the only candidate to come forward to replace Ardern.) Hipkins, 44, called the abuse that Ardern endured from a “small minority” of New Zealanders “abhorrent” and added that, while it does not represent what New Zealand is, all men are responsible for speaking out against misogyny.

He has named Carmel Sepuloni his deputy; she will be the first person of Pasifika descent to hold that position. Hipkins is expected to be sworn in on Wednesday. New Zealand will have a general election this fall. At the moment, Labour is lagging behind the New Conservative Party in the polls.


Keep an Eye On

India blocks Modi doc. India’s government blocked the airing of a BBC documentary that examined Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership during the Gujarat riots of 2002, when Modi was chief minister of that state. Sharing video clips of the documentary or links to the documentary on social media is banned too. The documentary, titled India: The Modi Question, essentially makes the case that Modi had police ignore the violence that left at least 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead. The Indian government denounced the documentary as “hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage.” The first part of the series aired in the United Kingdom last week, and the second part will air there this coming Tuesday. The BBC defended the documentary, saying it was “committed to highlighting important issues from around the world.”

Lula fires army chief. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula, fired his country’s army chief two weeks after protesters and supporters of his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed government buildings. Lula said he believed that members of the army had acted in concert with protesters, so he sacked Gen. Júlio César de Arruda, who had been in the role since Dec. 30, 2022—very shortly before Bolsonaro’s term as president came to an end. Thirty-nine people have been charged so far for invading government buildings.


Sunday’s Most Read

The World Economy No Longer Needs Russia by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian

Muslim Activists Misunderstand Islam by Hisham Melhem

Biden’s Midterm Report Card by FP Contributors


Odds and Ends 

Year—and resort—of the rabbit. Rabbit owners in Hong Kong are able to leave their furry friends in a resort for rabbits when they travel. But as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and the Lunar New Year arrived, travel increased—and so did bunny business. The owner of Bunny Style, Donna Li, who is herself the owner of not one but two pet rabbits, is already taking bookings for Easter. Li and her team look after feeding, grooming, and exercise so that the bunnies may begin their own Year of the Rabbit in good health.

Emily Tamkin is a global affairs journalist and the author of The Influence of Soros and Bad Jews. Twitter: @emilyctamkin

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