The nation of Peru has been plunged into political crisis after socialist president Pedro Castillo was removed from office by the Peruvian Congress.
The Congress removed Castillo after he attempted to dissolve the legislative body and institute an emergency government; actions that have been labeled an attempted coup.
According to CNN, Wednesday was quite the momentous day in Peruvian politics, with Castillo being arrested and impeached by the Congress, and his successor, Dina Boularte installed as Peru’s new leader.
Boularte is Peru’s first female president and is the sixth president of the South American nation in under five years, in what has been a tumultuous and polarizing period for the country.
Castillo’s attempted power grab seems to be in response to a looming impeachment vote by Peruvian lawmakers, according to CNN.
The socialist president’s plan quickly backfired as many of his cabinet minister announced their resignations and the Peru armed Forces sided with the Congress, stating that Castillo’s actions were “infringement of the constitution.”
Boularte gave her views of Castillo’s radical takeover attempt after becoming president, calling it “a coup that aggravates the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome with strict adherence to the law,” as reported by CNN.
Castillo won election to Peru’s top office in June 2021 by a narrow 50.14 percent of the vote, running on a platform that one Miami Herald columnist described as being “lifted from the Russian Revolution in 1917.”
Castillo’s goals while in office included threatening multi-national companies with nationalization if they did not hand over 80% of their profits to the Peruvian government.
He also promised to rewrite the constitution and better redistribute wealth.
Prior to being elected president, Castillo was a schoolteacher and union leader who leaned very heavily into Marxist ideology.
Despite his lofty promises, Castillo struggled to deal with Peru’s inflation problem and faced stiff opposition from the more conservative Congress, according to CNN.
Castillo faces charges of rebellion according to Peru’s Attorney General “for violating the constitutional order.”
“We condemn the breach of the constitutional order,” Peru’s Attorney General, Patricia Benavides, said in a statement.
“The Political Constitution of Peru enshrines the separation of powers and establishes that Peru is a democratic and sovereign republic … No authority can place itself above the Constitution and must comply with its constitutional mandates.”
As reported by CNN, Castillo has also been accused of corruption, and peddling influence with his family and allies, allegations he has vehemently denied.
With his political aspirations in tatters, Castillo has recently entered talks with the Mexican government to grant him asylum so as to escape his criminal charges in Peru.
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