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Mon Apr 20, 2020, 06:41 PM

Peru: riot police block highway as people attempt to flee amid lockdown

Police also fired teargas into crowds of people as country’s coronavirus lockdown entered sixth week

Dan Collyns in Lima

Mon 20 Apr 2020 17.09 EDTLast modified on Mon 20 Apr 2020 17.51 EDT

Riot police in Peru have blockaded a major highway and fired teargas into crowds of people attempting to flee the capital city and return on foot to their rural hometowns as the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown entered its sixth week.

Local television images on Monday showed hundreds of families, including young children, trekking along highways with their belongings on their backs as they made long journeys to family homes.

Poor Peruvians have been trying to leave Lima since last week, many saying they had to choose between hunger or homelessness in the city or risking exposure to Covid-19 as they attempt to return home.

“Here in Lima there are no longer any jobs, there is no longer any way to pay for food, we do not have any more savings,” Maricela de la Cruz told the Associated Press.


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