According to a source with knowledge of the situation, President Pedro Castillo of Peru has been taken into custody by police in Lima after lawmakers decided to remove Castillo from office on a turbulent day for the South American country.
Dina Boluarte, the vice president, is set to be sworn in as the future president of Peru, but she will require support from all political parties to be able to lead.
Following an effort by Castillo to dissolve the parliament and form an emergency administration earlier in the day, a majority of 101 members of Peru’s 130-member congress decided to vote to impeach the troubled Castillo on Wednesday afternoon.
Castillo’s earlier in the day request for legislative elections to begin work on a new constitution had resulted in a number of cabinet resignations, vehement responses from top officials, and outrage from nearby neighbours.
Boluarte herself opposed Castillo’s breakup plan on Twitter before to the congressional impeachment vote. She posted on Twitter, “I deplore Pedro Castillo’s choice to force the dissolution of the constitutional order with the closing of Congress.” It is a coup that makes the political and institutional crisis worse, which Peruvian society must overcome by strictly upholding the law.
At least seven cabinet members left their posts, including Wilbert Rozas, the minister of the environment, Kurt Burneo, the minister of finance, Cesar Landa, and Felix Chero, the minister of justice.
International leaders criticised Castillo’s attempt to dissolve Congress, and US Ambassador to Peru Lisa Kenna called on him to “reverse” the decision and let Peru’s democratic institutions operate in accordance with the Constitution.
In a statement sent to Twitter, Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “great concern over the political crisis that the sister Republic of Peru is experiencing and urges on all political and social actors to protect democratic institutions, the rule of law, and constitutional order.”
Since the socialist leader’s inauguration, the administration has been in disarray; in less than a year, dozens of ministers have been appointed, removed, fired, or resigned, adding to the president’s already heavy burden.
Castillo, a former teacher and union leader, has blasted the opposition for attempting to oust him from office on the very first day. He said that Patricia Benavides, Peru’s attorney general, had utilised the investigations conducted by her office to plan a “second coup d’état” against him.
On the basis of three of the six investigations her agency had started, Benavides filed a constitutional complaint against him in October. The complaint enables the House to look into the president on its own.
investigation after investigation
Castillo, who won the seat in a runoff election by a slim margin in July 2021, has been the subject of numerous investigations into allegations that he used his authority to acquire advantages for himself, his family, and closest supporters, among other people.
Castillo has always refuted all accusations and reaffirmed his willingness to assist with any inquiry. He contends that the accusations stem from a witch hunt against him and his family by factions who refused to recognise his election victory.
Five preliminary criminal investigations into the President’s alleged involvement in the planning of fraudulent schemes while in office have been opened. 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 president was involved in efforts to buy influence during the promotion of military and national police personnel.
These investigations cover more ground than only the President; they also cover Castillo’s wife and sister-in-law. Lilia Paredes, the first lady, is under investigation for allegedly organising the criminal network. Benji Espinoza, her attorney, has emphasised her innocence and contends that the inquiry into the first lady has “a number of problems and omissions.”
Additionally, Yenifer 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.
During a televised speech from the Presidential Palace on October 20, he declared, “My daughter, my wife, and my entire family have been targeted with the sole intention of destroying me because they don’t want me to finish my term. I guarantee you I will finish my term, 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.”
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