Peru’s interior minister resigns after siege

/ Source: The Associated Press

Peru’s interior minister resigned Monday during hearings into a four-day standoff with a paramilitary group that ended with four police officers dead.

“I am conscious that the political situation is polarized and that’s precisely why I tell you that this morning I presented to the president of the Republic my irrevocable resignation,” Javier Reategui told parliament during an appearance to explain his handling of the standoff earlier this month.

Reategui denied allegations from opposition lawmakers that he had received intelligence reports warning that followers of former army Maj. Antauro Humala would meet in Andahuaylas, a town 275 miles southeast of the capital, Lima.

Humala and his supporters stormed the police station in Andahuaylas during a New Year’s Eve party, set up a perimeter around the station and demanded the resignation of President Alejandro Toledo. Humala said Toledo had sold out Peru’s business interests to Chile, an historic rival.

Four policemen and two rebels were killed during the standoff that ended with Humala’s surrender.

Humala and 186 of his followers were being interrogated by authorities in Lima, Reategui said Monday.