In Peru violent clashes between striking teachers and police followed a large military parade int eh capital of Lima on Sunday (29 July).
In Peru violent clashes between striking teachers and police followed a large military parade int eh capital of Lima on Sunday (29 July). The parade celebrated the country's 158th anniversary of independence from Spain and was held nearly a years before the promised return to civilian government.
SYNOPSIS: The Peruvian Congress was suspended indefinitely after a military coup in 1968. But the country's President, Francisco Morales Bermudez has pledged a return to democracy by 1980. The parade which has not been held since 1975 to save fuel under the country's austerity measures, attracted about one hundred thousand spectators.
Before the parade President Bermudez announced that next year's elections for President, Vice-President, sixty senators and one hundred and eighty deputies will be held on May 18th. An important step in the transition to democracy was taken at the beginning of July when members of the country's constituent assembly signed a new constitution.
Its most revolutionary feature is aimed at discouraging further military coups in a country where the army has seized power six times in the past fifty years.
The highlight of the four-hour parade was the first public appearance of Soviet built rockets. The leaders of the Armed Forces have promised nothing will prevent next July's transfer of power, but there is considerable confusion within the political parties and continuing labour unrest. Another problem is the continuing ill-health of Victor Raul Haya de la Torre leader of the important Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana party (APRA). Political observers doubt if any other Peruvian leader can win the required minimum of thirty-six percent of the votes to become the country's next President.