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A new hot spot: after the arrest of the socialist president, Peru was on the brink of civil war

The current situation once again hits Peru, which was already in a constant political crisis.

The current situation once again hits Peru, which was already in a constant political crisis.

A photo: REUTERS

Peru has been seriously feverish for the last week. The confrontation between the parliament and the president began in the country. As a result, the head of state, Pedro Castillo, was arrested, and Vice President Dina Boluarte took over his post. But this “palace coup” did not end there. In support of the detained Castillo, protests took place across the country, clashes with the police, the new government declared a state of emergency.

NEW CHAVES

The problems of the President of Peru began from the very election to the post of head of state, because he defeated his rival in the second round, gaining 50.1% of the vote, that is, with an advantage at the level of “mathematical error”. Moreover, the movement that nominated Castillo to a high post turned out to be in the minority in parliament. A simple village teacher, who had no connections in the elite, irritated the “traditional” parties, so after taking the oath, political opponents immediately tried to reason with the “upstart”. Perhaps the old elites were afraid of the emergence of a “new Hugo Chavez” in Peru, who could undermine their influence.

The war between the president and the parliament in the South American state continued quite actively: legislators accused Castillo of corruption, and he, in turn, insisted that the majority of deputies were oppositional and they are not concerned with the problems of the country, but with attempts to overthrow it.

However, during his struggle with the opposition, the head of state managed to quarrel with his supporters, leaving as a result a key ally – the Free Peru party. As a result, Castillo was left “in splendid isolation”, having lost the support of loyal politicians, and found himself in a very dangerous position.

In total, since the election of Castillo in the summer of 2021, Parliament has twice raised the issue of impeaching the president and on December 7 intended to do so for the third time. Without waiting for the resignation, the ex-president “hit” first: he spoke on national television, declared a state of emergency in the country and announced the dissolution of parliament and its replacement with an interim government.

Many considered such behavior to be a violation of the basic law and reacted accordingly: several ministers resigned, and the head of the Constitutional Court accused Castillo of attempting a coup.

Following this, the parliamentarians decided not to delay and nevertheless announced the impeachment of the president and swore in the acting vice president of the country, 60-year-old Dina Boluarte, who became the first woman president of Peru.

The problems of the President of Peru began from the very election to the post of head of state, because he defeated his rival in the second round, gaining 50.1% of the vote

The problems of the President of Peru began from the very election to the post of head of state, because he defeated his rival in the second round, gaining 50.1% of the vote

A photo: REUTERS

PEOPLE AGAINST

Castillo himself was arrested and charged with attempted rebellion. This article is serious, it is supposed to be imprisoned for a term of 10 to 20 years, and taking into account other charges that “hang” on the ex-president, we can talk about the fact that for the next quarter of a century a rural teacher who got into big politics , will hold in places not so remote.

Many thought that the removal of Castillo from power would be painless, especially since the latest public opinion polls showed a drop in the popularity of the Peruvian leader among the population. However, the news from Lima stirred up many residents of the regions, who perceived the former head of state as a defender of their interests, sympathizing with the “simple hard worker.” As a result, in many departments of the country, the Peruvians began to block roads, protesting against the new government.

Further more – from blocking highways, the demonstrators moved on to tougher actions, apparently guided by Lenin’s precepts – to occupy the post office, telegraph, telephone, bridges and train stations. As writes Associated Pressprotesters began to attack police stations and government buildings, and even took over the runway of the international airport in the country’s second largest city, Arequipa.

As a result, the tourism industry, which is one of the most important sources of income for Peru, was paralyzed. The main national landmark – the Indian city of Machu Picchu located in the mountains – refused to be cut off from the “mainland”, and many guests of the South American country could not continue their journey or even return home due to problems with transport.

However, the chaos in Peru has led to much more serious consequences than the disruption to tourism. The country is growing tension between the demonstrators and the authorities. During the clashes with security forces, eight people have already died, and 200 law enforcement officers have been injured. Now the new president will use not only the police, but also the military to restore order, but getting to the remote corners of the country will not be easy.

Peru protests kill 8

Peru protests kill 8

A photo: REUTERS

THE PERFECT STORM

Seeing all this orgy, Boluarte decided to “tighten” the screws and introduced a state of emergency and a curfew for a month throughout the country. True, she did it in the “Latin American style.”

According to the portalinfobae”, according to the explanations of the authorities, such a regime does not mean the cancellation of public events and holidays, because Christmas and New Year are just around the corner. True, it will not be possible to have fun in restaurants and discos at night because of the curfew, although even here the authorities made a reservation that everything will depend on the position of local authorities.

The current situation once again hits Peru, which was already in a constant political crisis. Over the past 5 years, 5 presidents have changed in the country, and it’s scary to remember the fate of the departed heads of state. All recent leaders who have held their positions for at least more than a year have personally “met” with law enforcement agencies. Alan Garcia, who led the country from 1985-1990 and 2006-2011, shot himself when police came to him with an arrest warrant. Ollanta Humala (2011-2016), like Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), is under investigation due to suspicion of financial fraud. Martin Vizcarra (2018-2020) was removed by impeachment due to corruption, his fate too not yet defined.

So the origins of the current crisis are much deeper than the usual struggle for power. It is possible that we are talking about the stability of Peru as a state that may well turn into another “hot spot” on the map.

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