Peru President Impeached And Arrested: On Wednesday, Dina Boluarte was elected as Peru’s first female President, concluding a historic day that saw the arrest of her predecessor for accused acts of rebellion and the impeachment of the President by the legislature.
Former vice president Boluarte was sworn in as the nation’s President by Congress, making him Peru’s sixth president in less than five years. A majority of 101 of the parliamentary body’s 130 members voted to remove former leader Pedro Castillo from office hours before the event.
It was an “attempted coup d’état,” according to Peru’s Ombudsman, when then-President Castillo declared plans to dissolve Congress and appoint an emergency administration before a coming vote on his impeachment. To work on a new constitution, he also demanded elections for the parliament.
His attempt to avoid being impeached by Congress ultimately failed due to a series of resignations from the cabinet, vehement responses from senior officials and condemnation from neighbors in the area.
Castillo’s attempt to discredit politicians was rejected by the Peruvian military forces as an “infringement of the constitution.” Boluarte herself also disapproved of Castillo’s plan for dissolution, calling it “a coup that aggravates the political and institutional crises that Peruvian society will have to overcome with a rigorous devotion to the law” on Twitter.
International leaders joined the chorus of critics of Castillo, with the US calling on the President to “reverse” the decision and “enable Peru’s democratic institutions to work following the Constitution,” according to US Ambassador to Peru Lisa Kenna’s tweet.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, said in a statement: “We will continue to oppose and categorically reject any acts that violate Peru’s Constitution or threaten the country’s democracy.
Castillo’s actions were “incompatible with the constitutional framework of that country, represent a violation of democracy and the rule of law,” according to a statement from Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a tweet from Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing “deep concern” over Peru’s political crisis.
After Castillo was impeached in Congress, shockingly, Castillo was detained by police in Lima, the nation’s capital. The former President was pictured sitting at a table while officials signed documents in the prefecture, dressed in a blue jacket. Castillo was detained, according to a statement from Peru’s attorney general’s office, “for breaking the constitutional order,” which was said to be a crime of rebellion.
Patricia Benavides, Peru’s attorney general, said, “We deplore the breaking of the constitutional order.” The Political Constitution of Peru declares that the country is a democratic and independent republic and upholds the separation of powers. The Constitution’s requirements must be followed by all authorities who cannot exalt themselves above them.
CNN has made inquiries about the claims to Castillo’s defense team. Castillo’s brief tenure in government comes to an embarrassing conclusion. The former schoolteacher and union leader emerged from obscurity to win a tight election in July 2021. She was regarded as a member of a “pink flood” of young left-wing leaders in Latin America.
Given the rising inflation in Peru, his lack of political experience, and the fierce conservative opposition in Congress, he has struggled to fulfill his campaign promises to rewrite the Constitution and increase wealth redistribution by giving states greater control over markets and natural resources.
Numerous ministers have been appointed, sacked, fired, or resigned from their positions in the Marxist leader’s cabinet since it was first established, adding to the strain on him. Castillo has blasted the opposition for attempting to oust him on the very first day of his administration. He has claimed that Benavides utilized the investigations conducted by her office to plan a “new coup d’état” against him.
Based on three of the six investigations her agency had started, Benavides filed a constitutional complaint against Castillo in October. With the complaint’s help, Congress can look into the former President.
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A Cascade of Investigations
Castillo has been the subject of numerous inquiries into, among other things, whether he used his position to acquire favor or special treatment for himself, his family, and his closest supporters. Castillo has refuted all accusations and reaffirmed his willingness to assist with any inquiry. He contends that the allegations stem from a witch hunt against him and his family by factions who refused to recognize his election victory.
In five preliminary criminal investigations, the former President is being investigated for allegedly orchestrating corruption schemes while in office. Prosecutors claim that he oversaw a “criminal network” that meddled with government agencies like the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and the state-run oil firm of Peru to influence public bidding procedures and benefit particular businesses and close cronies.
Additionally, prosecutors are looking into whether the former President was involved in efforts to buy influence during the promotion of military and national police personnel.
Investigations against Castillo’s wife and sister-in-law are also being conducted. Lilia Paredes, a former first lady, is under investigation for allegedly organizing the criminal network. Benji Espinoza, her attorney, has emphasized her innocence and claims there are “several problems and omissions” in the inquiry of the former first lady.
Jennifer Paredes, her sister-in-law, is being looked into for potential involvement in a criminal gang, money laundering, and aggravated collaboration. She was detained until a judge terminated her 30-month “preventive detention.” She has also denied doing anything improper.
In an address broadcast live from the Presidential Palace on October 20, Castillo said, “My daughter, my wife, and my entire family have been targeted solely to destroy me because they don’t want me to finish my term. I guarantee you I will spend my time. I’m not tainted.
Castillo acknowledged in the same speech that some of his closest allies should stand trial for corruption-related charges, adding, “If they broke my confidence, let justice take care of them.” The fact that Congress abandoned its constitutional probe into President Boluarte on December 5 has further damaged her reputation.
Her rise may not necessarily improve Peru’s caustic and acrimonious political climate because she would need to win support from all parties to form a government.
Many Peruvians have been requesting a complete reset in the meanwhile. According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Peruvian Studies in September 2022, 60% of Peruvians said they supported early elections to replace the President and Congress (IEP).
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