Lima, March 20 (teleSUR-RHC) After six days of demonstrations and two days of dialogue with the government, protesters compelled Peru’s Congress late Wednesday to pass legislation lowering electricity costs for poor regions.
According to Congress, the bill will benefit 1.1 million people from different regions by compensating for the recent price increases of up to three times higher than previous rates. The vote was overwhelmingly in support of the rate reduction, avoiding the need for a second round of discussion.
Eight-one congress representatives voted in favor, one abstained, and none voted against it. Protests started on March 12 of this year in the city of Andahuaylas, Apurimac. Demonstrators shut down all businesses in the city and raided the offices of the private electric company. They also blocked traffic in and out of the city.
Three other provinces in the region started demonstrations in their towns and cities soon after. Earlier Wednesday, Alberto Roque, mayor of the town of Mara, province of Cotabambas, Apurimac, was shot four times and died. Prime Minister Ana Jara said that it seemed the crime was committed by groups who were against dialogue between residents and the government.
She demanded an immediate investigation into the matter and to find out if there were political motives behind the murder. “We have the right to doubt that this assassination was a robbery because nothing was taken from the vehicle that the mayor was using,” said Jara.