Written by Leo Cusi , 16/01/2023 7:30 pm

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On the latest presidential election of April 5th, 2021, 14 different candidates from various political parties were running for office on the ballots. From this pool of contenders, the ones who made it to the second electoral round were Keiko Fujimori, a right-wing candidate, daughter of Alberto Fujimori (Peruvian former president involved in acts of corruption who is currently in prison for crimes committed during his government, as well as for the coup d’état of 1993), and Pedro Castillo, a rural teacher and teachers’ union leader with a left-wing agenda, a character unheard of by the vast majority of Peruvians at that time.

During this second round of elections, a large percentage of Peruvians rejected Fujimori due to her father´s criminal history and an anti-Fujimorism phenomenon was generated as a result. At this moment the option of Pedro Castillo became a real possibility for Peruvians; a man who had great support from the rural population, despite the lack of organization and improvisation that existed in his party and his team.

Pedro Castillo became the winner of the elections with a certified majority of 50.13% against the 49.87% of Keiko Fujimori.

Pedro Castillo began his presidential term on July 28th, 2021. However, as time went by, he began to replace his secretaries of state in a disproportionate manner. In the brief first sixteen months of his tenure, 78 high level officials were swapped on his administration, an anomaly that exposed the instability in the executive branch. On the other hand, the opposition congressmen gave rise to accusations on Pedro Castillo, his secretaries and government officials on acts of corruption and other irregularities, pushing for his removal from office.

The opposition party submitted to congress, on two different occasions, a motion for the removal of the president from office due to moral incapacity, an action that came without fruition due to a lack of the required votes needed for such action.

A new motion of removal was submitted for a third time with “overwhelming evidence”, according to the opposition party. A debate for this action was scheduled in congress on December 7th, 2022, at 3:00 P.M. That same day, at 11:30 A.M., Pedro Castillo gave his infamous message declaring a coup d’état, as he tried to dissolve congress and several important institutions of the state. However, he did not have the support of the armed forces, therefore this coup d’état was never fulfilled.

The political constitution of Peru considers the coup d’état as a serious crime since it attempts against the constitutional order. Hours after his message, Pedro Castillo was arrested by the authorities and is still imprisoned while the ongoing investigations of the failed coup d’état last.

That same day, demonstrations originated by Castillo’s supporters demanded the dismantling of congress, the resignation of the interim president who succeeded him in office and the immediate release of Pedro Castillo. The general population was shocked and incredulous of what was happening; the presence of extremist groups from the left and right emerged, each promoting demonstrations in favor of their own interests, intimidating the citizens, and generating attacks to private and state property.

According to specialists, the demands from the left regarding the dissolution of congress, the resignation of the interim president, the release of Pedro Castillo and the immediate elections are constitutionally unfeasible, as these requirements must be met according to the regulatory frameworks governing the country.

Faced with the government’s refusal to meet the demands of the demonstrators, violent protests began on their behalf by blocking highways, airports and continuing the destruction of state and private property.

As a result of these actions, law enforcement agencies came out to rebuke demonstrators by using tear gas, buck shots and prohibited weapons on society, with disgraceful results and a loss of lives. All these actions have caused the government to declare a state of emergency in several regions of the country for a month, to restore peace.

Currently, union leaders from the left and the right are manipulating and coercing local union members to go out to these demonstrations by the muscle of their union organizations, threatening them with burdensome fines and sanctions if they do not participate.

The Peruvian population denounce the actions of demonstrators who provoke violence, as well as the disproportionate actions of the armed forces, which have resulted in human losses on both sides of the political spectrum. The only thing that most of the Peruvian people demand is that this crisis ends promptly and that peace is reestablished.

To be continued…

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