Monday, January 30

President Pedro Castillo, arrested for sedition after being dismissed

just like he did Alberto Fujimori in 1992The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, dissolved Congress this Wednesday and announced new elections, but unlike in 1992, this time the Armed Forces withdrew his support and left him alone. Faced with this, Congress decided to go ahead with the third motion of no confidence against the president and this time it did go ahead, supported by 101 votes, which removed him from power. And then they announced the appointment of the vice president, Dina Boluarte, as her successor and the first woman to lead the country. While this was going on in Congress, the president was arrested for the crime of sedition after leaving the Government Palace with his family.

All this chain of events took place after Pedro Castillo announced this Wednesday morning the dissolution of Congress, an event that violated article 34 of the Constitution and configured the crime of sedition, which hid his true intentions: flee asylum to MexicoHe is now escaping from the Justice that was investigating him for six cases of corruption.

After the speech where he dissolved Congress, Castillo left the Government Palace with his family on the way to the Mexican Embassy in Lima, at which time he was arrested for committing the alleged crime of sedition punishable by a sentence of 10 to 20 years. In a single day, Peru witnessed a whirlwind of events in which Pedro Castillo went from president to prisoner in the Prefecture of Lima.

Castillo was in charge of changing the agenda for the day, in which the focus of attention was on his third motion of censure. He did it with a speech to the nation in which he announced the dissolution of Congress, as well as that of the Judiciary and the Prosecutor’s Office: “The following measures are issued: temporarily dissolve the Congress of the Republic and establish an exceptional emergency government,” he began by saying. To these measures, the president added those of “convening in the shortest possible time elections for a new Congress with constituent powers to prepare a new Constitution within a period of no more than nine months. As of that date and until the new Congress is established, it will be governed by decree law,” said a nervous president whose hours were numbered.

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During the speech, Castillo indicated that in nine months he would call elections for a new Congress with constituent powers, that is, the installation of an Assembly to elaborate a new Constitution. He also ordered a nationwide curfew starting this Wednesday from 10:00 p.m. local time (3:00 GMT on Thursday).

“The judicial system, the Public Ministry, the National Board of Justice (JNJ) and the Constitutional Court (TC) are declared in reorganization,” said Castillo; just as it happened on April 5, 1992 when former President Alberto Fujimori dissolved Congress and all powers.

Castillo also ordered that all those who possess “illegal weapons must hand them over to the National Police within 72 hours and whoever does not do so commits a crime punishable by imprisonment that will be established in the respective decree law.”

Unlike in 1992, the country’s Armed Forces and National Police did not back Castillo.

Unlike in 1992, the Armed Forces and the National Police of the country did not support Castillo: «Any act contrary to the established constitutional order (article 34), constitutes a violation of the Constitution and generates non-compliance by the Armed Forces and National Police of Peru,” the institution said in a statement. “Citizens are called upon to remain calm and trust in the legally established State institutions.”

Cascading Resignations

The vice president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, the natural substitute for the ruler according to the Constitution, also rejected President Castillo’s decision to “perpetrate the breakdown of the constitutional order by closing Congress.” “This is a coup that aggravates the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome with strict adherence to the law,” he added.

After Castillo’s surprise announcement, ranks began to break in his own Cabinet, producing a cascade of resignations, such as that of the Prime Minister, Betssy Chávez, who took office less than two weeks ago; the Foreign Minister, César Landa; the Minister of Economy and Finance, Kurt Burneo; of Justice, Felix Chero; of Labor, Alejandro Salas; for Women, Heidy Juárez; of Tourism and Foreign Trade, Roberto Sánchez; of Education, Rosendo Serna; and of Transport, Richard Tineo.

At the same time, Congress declared itself in default before the president’s closing announcement and decided to advance the vote on the impeachment motion against the president. With 101 votes in favor – 87 were needed – Parliament dismissed Castillo and gave free rein to the appointment of Dina Boluarte.

«What has happened in Peru is a coup d’état with all its letters. Nothing announced by former President Pedro Castillo is allowed by the Constitution.

Fernando Tuesta

political scientist

For him political scientist Fernando Tuesta What happened this Wednesday in Peru was “a coup with all its letters. Nothing announced by former President Pedro Castillo is allowed by the Constitution. If he had low legitimacy, now he has lost legality. He is usurping power and obedience is not due to him ».

Before the vote of the motion of censure took place, Tuesta already noted what could happen: «It is up to the Congress of the Republic to remove the now usurper Pedro Castillo, who has placed himself outside the law. His acts are now illegitimate and illegal. He must immediately swear an oath to the Vice President, Dina Boluarte, that should open the way to an advance of the elections with political reform. For this, Congress must modify the Constitution.

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