As a result of President Pedro Castillo’s attempted dissolution of Congress and the ensuing impeachment of him, the government of Peru has proclaimed a state of emergency throughout the country.
Soldiers are being sent out to assist police in quelling violent rallies by the president’s followers.
In battles with the police, several demonstrators have perished, and several airports and roadways have been temporarily closed.
The news investigates the causes of the most recent political crisis.
Several presidents have been overthrown in Peru in recent years, and several have been imprisoned for crimes committed while in power.
The nation had three presidents in only five days during a notable week in 2020.
But even by Peruvian norms, what happened on December 7 was shocking because of how quickly things happened and how they turned out.
Peru’s President Pedro Castillo unexpectedly announced a state of emergency in a televised speech to the country.
He declared he would dissolve Congress and install an “extraordinary emergency administration” in its place.
According to Mr. Castillo, action was taken to “re-establish the rule of law and democracy.”
What was the reaction?
Shock was expressed at the action. The head of the constitutional court declared that Mr. Castillo had started a coup.
Numerous of his cabinet members, including the defense minister, quit immediately, while Dina Boluarte, his vice president, criticized the dissolution of Congress on Twitter.
In a joint statement, the police and the military declared their support for the constitution.
Congress conducted an extraordinary session in defiance of Mr. Castillo and unanimously decided to impeach him there.
What led up to this?
Before going on air, President Pedro Castillo was up for an impeachment vote in Congress on December 7.
Most pundits and experts believed he would survive this attempt to unseat him because the two previous attempts to impeach him did not receive the required votes.
After all, to have him removed from office, two-thirds of Congressmen would need to vote in favor of impeachment.
Additionally, the Peruvian Congress comprises numerous small parties that do not always agree, even though Mr. Castillo’s opponents predominate.
Why was the president meeting impeachment?
53-year-old Pedro Castillo’s presidency has been shaky from the beginning. He was elected in June 2021 by a slim margin against his right-wing competitor Keiko Fujimori, a left-wing former teacher.
He had no political experience, lacked his rival’s contacts and power, and had to deal with an adversarial Congress, which made it very difficult for him to lead.
Throughout his 17-month term in office, his cabinet experienced frequent upheaval, and he had five prime ministers.
Allegations of corruption, which he said were a result of “political persecution,” also cast a cloud over his leadership.
What swayed Mr. Castillo?
The critical query is this. Mr. Castillo was anxious, and his hands were noticeably shaking as he read his statements.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pas, one of his closest advisers claimed to be unaware of Mr. Castillo’s plot to dissolve Congress.
Some believe Anibal Torres, who presided as prime minister from February until his resignation on November 24, may have impacted him.
A lawyer named Mr. Torres was present both when Mr. Castillo declared he would dissolve the legislature and when Mr. Castillo was taken into custody.
What did Congress do?
President Castillo was defied by Congress, which moved forward with the impeachment vote by a few hours.
The vote to impeach the president was swift and resoundingly successful, with 101 votes in favor, six against, and 10 abstentions.
They quickly swore in Ms. Boluarte as the new president after summoning her.
What did Mr. Castillo do next?
To seek political asylum, Mr. Castillo and his family departed the presidential mansion and went to the Mexican consulate.
His police escorts, however, halted the car on the way there and, at the direction of their superiors, transported Mr. Castillo to police headquarters.
The attorney general had him imprisoned there. Since then, he has been held in pre-trial detention while being looked into for possible insurrection.