Lima businesses struggle amid violent political protests

STORY: With violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police in Peru looking certain to stretch into another month, alarm is growing among business owners in Lima as they struggle to keep their shops afloat.

Clothing store owner Estefany Aguirre says she's not just worried about her sales plummeting in the capital city but also around the country, telling Reuters she could ship her goods elsewhere, but no one wants to buy in large quantities with so much uncertainty.

Initially limited to Peru’s rural, mountainous south, protests have gathered steam in the capital in the last few weeks. Some demonstrators armed with rocks and makeshift shields were in direct confrontation with police, who deployed tear gas and rubber bullets.

A protester died over the weekend in Lima, bringing the nationwide death toll to 58 since protests began in early December after the impeachment and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo.

The new President -- Dina Boluarte -- said that weeks of deadly demonstrations have caused hundreds of millions in damage to the country’s infrastructure.

But the Economy Minister, last week, said that while the protests have affected some industries, particularly tourism, Peru’s economy could still grow this year.