Thursday, May 26, 2011

6pm in Puno Peru and a full scale pitched battle is underway between protesters and police

Things are not good in and around the main square of the city of Puno. Tear gas currently being used against the protesters, who in turn have raided/sacked government offices. Reports of buildings partly on fire as well. There's also a truck burning in the square, set on fire by the protesters.

In IKN106, May 15th, I wrote the following words. Sadly, I was right.
I’ve seen this movie before, ladies and gentlemen, it does not have a happy ending and no matter whether you approve or disapprove of the protesters, these people are quite willing to make this into a long-standing roadblock and aggravate authorities until troops are sent in and blood is shed

Update: Pleasant little evening bonfire...made from the furniture taken from the Puno tax office. H/T gabo_el

Sketchy reports of government workers being taken hostage, too. (Update on this...seemingly unfounded)

Now 7:30pm and reports of calm returning to the streets.

More pretty bonfires in the centre of Puno tonight

8:15pm Peru time (that's 9:15pm EST): Things are now worse, with reports that the local branch of the customs and immigration office (located just off the main square) is on fire, blazing away from many windows and on the way to near total destruction. Protesters have blocked the roads around the offices and won't let anyone through to put out the flames. Just down the road, reports are of looting in a electrical appliances store (white goods, etc)