Castillo and six months in power in Peru: chaos, improvisation, uncertainty and shame

This Friday marked six months of the communist government of peter castle in Peru and the date coincides with a new resignation within his cabinet, that of his Minister of Justice, Avelino Guillen. This fact, which could be anecdotal in any government, is symptomatic of what has happened in this administration since it took power: resignations, improvisation, chaos or appointments of unqualified people, something that seems very recurrent.

The fact is that Guillén experienced Castillo’s doubts and fears firsthand. After a period marked by a controversy with Javier Gallardo, commander general of the National Police due to a series of appointments and dismissals within the institution, the minister never received the backing of the president, which could have given him authority within the circumstances.

Cases under investigation

Another of the scandals of this government are the infamous meetings that Castillo held in a house located in the district of Breña, the place where he stayed before taking power and where he initially wanted to continue dispatching as head of state. In fact, the Prosecutor’s Office has already opened a preliminary investigation against Castillo for alleged influence peddling, collusion and illegal sponsorship, a process that will be suspended due to the immunity he enjoys as president.

The case is based on his alleged influences for the construction of a bridge and for the acquisition of fuel for the state oil company Petroperú, in addition to an irregular process of promotions from his close circle. According to the data that has been made public, and also reflected in the media, Castillo held meetings with the businesswoman karelim lopez -the mysterious visitor-, to intercede in favor of the Puente Tarata III consortium, which was awarded the construction of a bridge in the central jungle.

Next, the president also met with businessman Samir Abudayeh and with the president of Petroperú, Hugo Chávez, days before the former’s company won a contract to sell 280,000 barrels of biodiesel to the state company for 74 million dollars.

The Shame Interview

Since his government began, Castillo had not offered any interviews to any media outlet, leaving evidence of his poor relationship with journalism, something that has also been reflected in some attitudes of the members of his security who came to attack journalists. covering their official activities. In fact, already in the campaign, he had several problems with the press who wanted to interview him, many times with little luck due to his constant refusals.

In this last week, Castillo decided to offer three interviews, two of them to Peruvian media. The first to the weekly “Hildebrandt en sus Trece”, by the prestigious journalist Caesar Hildebrandtsecond to radio Exitosa, an interview highly criticized for its lack of questions on outreach issues, and the third, without a doubt the most commented, with the Mexican Fernando del Rincon, of the chain CNN in Spanish. This meeting was described in the local media as “shame”, as the same journalist reflected when reflecting on their meeting.

Castillo was overwhelmed by the questions, hesitant, leaving a clear sign of his lack of preparation and his inability to resolve common questions for a head of state. One of the moments most criticized by public opinion was his position regarding granting an outlet to the sea to Bolivia, something that, according to him, should be asked – as he usually says in a demagogic tone – “to the people.”

Asked if Cuba was a dictatorship, Castillo only said that the Cubans had to be asked and he did not say whether he recognized Nicholas Maduro oa Juan Guaido as presidents of Venezuela. Same formula: “You have to ask the Venezuelans. It’s the same as if you said who they recognize as president in Peru, Keiko Fujimori or Pedro Castillo?”

saved from impeachment

Another important moment was in December when he was saved from an impeachment process. Congress initiated the process for “moral incapacity of the president” by pointing out as one of the reasons “the appointment in high public positions of persons contrary to the rule of law and the democratic system due to their terrorist links and advocacy of terrorism, due to their interference for personal reasons in the Armed Forces and their total consent to the violation of women’s human rights through violence”. However, it was rejected with 76 votes against, 46 in favor and 4 abstentions, thanks to the lifeline sent by Vladimir Cerronthe secretary general of Peru Libre, the Marxist-Leninist party that brought him to power.

And as if that were not enough, these six months have even led to a scandal that was called the “toilet-gate” when $20,000 was found hidden in the toilet in the bathroom of the office of the then Secretary General of the Presidency, Bruno Pacheco, a fact that It is already being investigated in judicial forums and also in an investigative commission in Congress.

All this in just six months with a pandemic that continues to hit a country that has recorded more than 205,000 deaths, with strong economic uncertainty in the face of the government’s siege of mining companies -one of the main sectors for the growth of the economy-, and a political environment that will continue to be tense with the latent possibility of a new impeachment process.

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