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Peru: Pedro Castillo Appoints Three New Ministers in an Increasingly Unstable Government | International

Pedro Castillo, on July 28 in Lima, during the Independence Day parade.
Pedro Castillo, on July 28 in Lima, during the Independence Day parade.ANGELA PONCE (REUTERS)

The president of Peru seems determined to remain in the Government Palace at all costs. Pedro Castillo spends most of his time remodeling his cabinet over and over again, without finishing hitting the right key. This Wednesday he has appointed three new ministers, and with that there are already more than 40 changes in his cabinet in just 13 months of management. The daily problems of Peruvians have been left out of this eternal political crisis.

Castillo has appointed new ministers of Defense, Women and the Environment. The previous Defense had presented his irrevocable resignation a week ago due to complaints of using the State’s assets for his own benefit and nepotism. The changes could slightly reduce the margin of questioning at a critical moment for the Executive, since Castillo faces six investigations by the Public Ministry for corruption.

Castillo swore in the lawyer Richard Tineo as the new head of Defense, replacing José Luis Gavidia, a retired military officer who was investigated by the prosecution last month for taking his three daughters for a ride on a military flight, and because his wife and his eldest daughter were hired by other ministries while he was part of the Executive.

The lawyer Claudia Dávila took office as the new Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, replacing the feminist activist Diana Miloslavich, whose resignation was expected by the president’s entourage when the Executive did not object to the law that annuls sex education in schools. Dávila was a public manager in the Interior sector, in the Ministry of Social Inclusion, and in the same Ministry of Women during the Government of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, between 2016 and 2017.

The third change was in the Ministry of the Environment, where former congressman Wilfredo Rozas replaced scientist Modesto Montoya, a nuclear physicist who supported Castillo’s runoff election campaign and proposed the creation of the ministry of science and technology. The agronomist Rozas was a parliamentarian for the Broad Front (progressive left) between 2016-2019 and former district and provincial mayor in towns in the Andean region of Cusco.

The main concerns of Peruvians are the increase in crime and the lack of money for adequate food in more than half of the population: according to the FAO office in Peru, the Andean country faces the greatest food insecurity in South America.

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Castillo offered at the beginning of the year that the armed forces accompany the police to patrol the streets to combat crime, and declared a state of emergency in Lima and Callao to that end, but this response has been put into practice a few times so that recorded by television channels.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations has faced an unprecedented number of complaints of gender-based violence, the disappearance of women and minors, and violence in shelters for children and adolescents, managed by private or by the state. The Ombudsman’s Office reported 2,633 cases of missing persons in the first semester: 833 adults (32%) and 1,800 girls and adolescents (68%). The same entity indicates that the police received 5,867 complaints for the disappearance of women of all ages during the same period.

Castillo has been facing six tax investigations since January for influence peddling in military promotions in 2021, and for collusion and organized crime in the award of public works; In addition, the prosecution has requested 36 months of preventive detention for her sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes, whom she points out as an interest manager who operated with friends and other relatives for the irregular award of public works tenders in the regions of Cajamarca and Lima. . The term of preventive detention corresponds to the term that the Public Ministry has to carry out the investigation.

As part of the same investigations, the Public Ministry has asked a judge to impose a three-year exit ban on the first lady, Lilia Paredes, who is also being investigated for “fraudulent bids” along with other of her brothers and nephews.

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