Pedro Castillo takes stock without self-criticism of a year of government in Peru | International

The rural teacher and former union leader who became president of Peru a year ago, Pedro Castillo, and the representatives of the powers of the State have begun this Thursday with a verbal reprimand from the Archbishop of Lima. Monsignor Carlos Castillo lamented during the mass that began the events of the day the instability that the Andean country is experiencing due to the political class. “Today, a huge political crisis with a viral background of corruption and cover-up at the service of private interests. Indifference, individualism, group interests, mafias”, he launched from the Cathedral of the Peruvian capital in front of congressmen from various parties.

However, the direct allusion to the decomposition suffered by the country was not maintained later in Congress, when the head of state presented the balance of his first year at the head of the Government. His list of achievements hid the evidence of crimes committed by former officials and their families, and self-criticism was almost nil. “I must admit that we have made mistakes with some designations, as well as providing confidence to those who took advantage and mocked it. Nothing more opposed and distant from my values ​​are the acts of corruption and misconduct, as has been recorded in history when the treasury and public goods were embezzled, ”said the president at the beginning of his first message to the nation for the national holidays. .

He had already mentioned those two same errors in January in the first extensive interview he gave to a weekly newspaper in Lima, when the Prosecutor’s Office was only investigating him for collusion and influence peddling in military promotions. It happened two months after prosecutors found $20,000 in cash in the office of the then Secretary General of the Presidency, Bruno Pacheco. The former official went into hiding and was a fugitive for more than three months until last Saturday, when he turned himself in to the team of prosecutors and police investigating the corruption of Castillo and his closest circle.

According to the first interrogations of Pacheco, the money was part of the bribes they charged police officers in exchange for promotions. The head of state faces three other investigations: for his alleged intervention so that the state-owned Petro Perú chose a company in a purchase of biodiesel for 74 million dollars, and for criminal organization, influence peddling and aggravated collusion in the bidding for a millionaire public works in the Amazon: the case called Puente Tarata.

Included in that fiscal folder are, among others, two nephews of Castillo and the former Minister of Transportation, Juan Silva. One of the nephews is still at large and Silva’s lawyer announced this week that his client will surrender in the coming days. In addition, the new attorney general, Patricia Benavides, opened the fourth investigation for cover-up, due to the fact that former Interior Minister Mariano Gonzales was removed from office as a result of having created a special team of intelligence police to investigate the president and the circle of the.

According to a July Ipsos Peru survey, 74% of Peruvians disapprove of the Castillo government and 79% disapprove of Congress, which has twice sought to remove the president through the figure of “vacancy due to permanent moral incapacity,” which it requires 87 votes and a diffuse cause, since there is no precise definition of moral incapacity. The confrontation that the parliamentary opposition has sought in the legislature from the first day that Castillo took office and the continuous approval of norms against social rights and in favor of private interests linked to corruption have generated citizen rejection of both powers of the State.

Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.


64% -according to the same survey- who disapprove of the management of Congress believe that they are only aware of “their personal interests” and there are corrupt people. In addition, 65% agree with the advancement of general elections. The archbishop of Lima mentioned during the mass a critical moment in Peruvian history, when in 1822 the liberator José de San Martín saw that the independence of Peru was at risk and a war was prolonged. So, “in a gesture of detachment” he looked for Simón Bolívar to talk, he left Peru and left Bolívar and a Constituent Congress.

The allusion to said episode had the echo of the 120 institutions that this Wednesday joined in a coalition to request new elections and a democratic and constitutional solution to the institutional crisis. After the presidential message, political analyst Paulo Vilca commented to EL PAÍS that “the most remarkable thing is that neither Castillo nor Congress are aware of the rejection they generate among the majority. The speech and performance of the congressmen during the session is the best example”. The political scientist was referring to the parliamentarians who turned their backs on the president while he read his assessment and others who preferred to leave the chamber after feeling offended by some phrases of the former leader of the teaching profession.

Castillo affirmed that he began his administration “surrounded by unfounded negative omens.” “They began the same day of our electoral victory and, it is necessary to specify, it came from the most conservative sectors that never wanted change or social justice.” His opponents campaigned calling him a Chavista and a communist and until now those who are asking for the president’s vacancy point out that they want to rid the country of “communism.” The head of state later expressed that despite the displeasure of “those who believe they own the country” his government continues to advance.

“It didn’t even amount to a confrontational speech with his opponents, Castillo is so weak that he couldn’t even finish his speech,” added Vilca. When the president finished his message to the nation invoking the union and asking Congress to process the bills that the Executive has presented, the opposition parliamentarians shouted: “Corrupt, resign, get out!” Regarding the investigations that he faces, he said that he submits to justice, “but not to media justice.” And he added: “The media determined to destabilize the government only broadcast lies and false news about Pedro Castillo, accused of corruption without any evidence, they will get tired of looking for evidence because they will not find it.” The former rural teacher has maintained a tense relationship with most of the Lima press since the second round electoral campaign in 2021.

The progress

Castillo stressed in the first instance that during his administration the economy has maintained significant progress despite the inflation that affects the “emerging countries.” ”Very few know it, but so far in 2022 we have grown by 3.5% despite the pandemic, and we are above the average for the region. Similarly, we also exceeded the projection of 2.5% economic growth for this year. That is not communicated,” he complained. He also highlighted that formal jobs in the private sector are on the rise, with May posting 8.9% year-on-year growth in that indicator. Likewise, he presented as an achievement the collection of 5,400 million soles (1,376 million dollars) of tax debts of large companies, which previous governments did not collect. The Peruvian economy fell 11% in 2020 due to the pandemic and the percentage of people in poverty increased 10%, reaching 30% of the population.

The president also said this Thursday that a state registry registers 3,530 common pots and 217,000 people who eat them, for which this year the Ministry of Economy has allocated a budget of 25 million dollars. However, this amount is only used to eventually deliver food to some of those pots, and others have never received supplies from the State and depend on donations from market stalls or the charity of citizens. For example, in the district of Carabayllo, in Lima Norte, the Mujeres Unidas common pot is organizing a fundraising activity this Saturday because several weeks ago lunch consisted only of legumes and rice, without protein, just like in 2020. , at the worst moment of the economic crisis.

This year, due to protests against rising fuel and food prices, the government approved a one-time additional subsidy for beneficiaries of social programs. which reached 1.3 million people; Castillo added that in the coming months the State will pay a “food support bonus” to six million people.

Follow all the international information in Facebook Y Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button