The Miami Herald
October 1, 1998
Peruvians force way into presidential palace
Students, unionists protest Fujimori's policies

             LIMA, Peru -- (AP) -- Thousands of anti-government protesters armed with
             clubs and stones broke through a police cordon around the presidential palace in
             the heart of Lima on Wednesday and a smaller group forced its way inside.

             About 60 demonstrators battled through police lines all the way into the palace in
             one of Peru's most violent protests in recent years. Some spray-painted
             ``Dictator!'' on the stone walls of the palace courtyard, while others broke
             furniture in inner offices.

             President Alberto Fujimori was in his office at the time, but protesters did not
             reach him, a palace spokesman said.

             Police fired shots in the air and lobbed tear gas to disperse the estimated 5,000
             demonstrators, representing Peru's main unions and student groups.

             Police arrested at least five people, and one bystander was injured in the leg by a
             firecracker, Radioprogramas radio station reported.

             The General Confederation of Peruvian Workers, the country's largest labor
             federation, called the rally to protest government policies the unions say have left
             many people out of work.

             Students and unionists also marched in major cities in the provinces of Cuzco,
             Trujillo, Arequipa, Ica and Puno.

             University students joined the march in Lima to protest the erosion of Peru's
             democratic institutions. They charged that Fujimori has trampled Peru's
             constitution and laws to pave the way to run for a third consecutive term in 2000.

             Congress President Victor Joy Way urged calm and said the protest was an
             attempt to destabilize the state.

             Polls show that Fujimori's popularity has fallen in recent months, with about one in
             three Peruvians approving of his performance.


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