Peru’s first female president, Tina Poluarte, was sworn in on Wednesday It was a dramatic day when his predecessor was arrested For sedition and impeachment by the legislators.
Bolavarte, the country’s former vice president, became Peru’s sixth president in less than five years to take the top job in Congress.
The ceremony came hours after a majority of 101 members of the 130-member assembly voted to impeach former president Pedro Castillo.
The tumultuous day began when then-President Castillo announced plans to dissolve Congress and install an emergency government ahead of a vote to impeach lawmakers in what Peru’s ombudsman described as an “attempted coup.”
He also asked for parliamentary elections to be held to draft a new constitution.
The move prompted cabinet resignations, strong reactions from top officials and condemnation from regional neighbors – ultimately failing to prevent his impeachment in Congress.
The Peruvian armed forces rejected Castillo’s attempt to sideline lawmakers, calling it a “constitutional violation.”
Poluarte criticized Castillo’s dissolution plan, describing it on Twitter as “a conspiracy to worsen the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society must abide by the law.”
International officials joined the chorus of condemnations of Castillo, with the United States calling the move a “leader” and urging the president to “allow Peru’s democratic institutions to function according to the constitution,” said Lisa Kenna, the U.S. ambassador to Peru. He said on Twitter.
“We will stand up and categorically reject any actions that are unconstitutional in Peru and undermine democracy in that country,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Argentina’s foreign ministry expressed “deep concern” about Peru’s political crisisNa reported on TwitterAnd Brazil’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Castillo’s actions were “inconsistent with the country’s constitutional framework, [and] It represents a violation of democracy and the rule of law.
In a shocking turn of events, Castillo was arrested by police in the capital Lima after lawmakers impeached him in Congress.
Pictures shared from the province showed the former president sitting around a table wearing a blue jacket as officials signed the documents.
In a statement, Peru’s attorney general’s office said Castillo was arrested on charges of rebellion for “violating the constitutional order.”
“We condemn the violation of constitutional order,” Peru’s Attorney General Patricia Benavides said in a statement. “Peru’s political constitution includes the separation of powers and establishes that Peru is a democratic and sovereign republic … no authority can establish itself above the constitution and must comply with its constitutional mandates.”
CNN has reached out to Castillo’s defense team for comment on the allegations.
It was a humiliating end to Castillo’s tenure. The Former school teacher And the union leader rose from obscurity to be narrowly elected in a runoff in July 2021 and is seen as part of a “pink wave” of new left-wing leaders in Latin America.
He ran on the platform promising to rewrite the Constitution and increase wealth redistribution by giving more control to the states. Over markets and natural resources, rising inflation in Peru, his lack of political experience and promises he struggled to deliver in a strong position. Anti-conservative In Congress.
The leftist leader’s government has been mired in chaos since taking office, with dozens of ministers appointed, replaced, sacked or resigning their posts in a year – piling on more pressure. him.
Castillo has lashed out at the opposition for trying to oust him since his first day in office. He accused Benavides of what he called a new form of “conspiracy” against him through his office investigations.
In October, Benavides filed a three-count constitutional complaint against Castillo Six inquiries Her office was opened. The complaint allows Congress to conduct its own investigation against the former president.
Castillo has faced a barrage of inquiries into whether he used his position to gain influence, favors or favoritism to benefit himself, his family and close associates.
Castillo has repeatedly denied all allegations and reiterated his willingness to cooperate with any investigation. He argues that the charges are the result of a witch hunt against him and his family from groups that failed to accept his election victory.
The former president faces five preliminary criminal investigations on charges of masterminding corruption schemes while in office. This includes prosecutors’ accusation that he led a “criminal network” that interfered with public institutions such as the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Housing and Peru’s state-run oil company to control public bidding processes and benefit specific companies and close associates.
Prosecutors are also investigating whether the former president attempted to influence the promotion process of officers in both the armed forces and the national police.
The investigations also look at Castillo’s family, including his wife and brother-in-law. Former First Lady Lilia Paredes is being investigated on suspicion of organizing a criminal network. Her lawyer, Benji Espinoza, has insisted that she is innocent, arguing that the trial against the former first lady “has many flaws and flaws.”
His sister-in-law Yennefer Paredes is on trial for money laundering and aggravated conspiracy, accused of being part of a criminal organization. He remained in custody until a judge revoked his “preventive custody” for 30 months. She also denied any wrongdoing.
“My daughter, my wife, my whole family have been attacked with the sole purpose of destroying me because they don’t want me to finish my term, I will finish my term, I am not corrupt,” Castillo said. During a televised address from the Presidential Palace on October 20.
In the same speech, Castillo acknowledged that some of his close associates should face justice over corruption charges, saying, “If they betray my trust, let justice take care of them.”
President Polwart’s image has also been tarnished by Congress’ own constitutional inquiry, which was rejected on December 5.
Her rise will not necessarily ease Peru’s toxic and resentful political landscape, as she will need cross-party support to govern.
Meanwhile, many Peruvians are calling for a total reset. In September 2022, 60% of Peruvians said they supported early elections to renew both the presidency and Congress. According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP)..
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