On Wednesday, December 7, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo announced plans to dissolve the national congress in a televised address to the country. His plan came in light of impeachment proceedings held against him that day, the third attempt since his rise to power in July of last year. In addition to his plan to dissolve congress, Castillo called for a constituent assembly, enacted a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, and established an emergency government. A day prior to this announcement, Castillo claimed that those trying to impeach him were hindering democracy and taking advantage of the people who voted him in.
Soon after his dissolution of the congress, several of Castillo’s ministers announced their immediate resignation from his cabinet. Ministers of labor, environment, economy, and finance were among those who resigned. His actions were quickly recognized as a coup by Peru’s Constitutional Court and the media, with many comparing it to Alberto Fujimori’s 1992 self-coup d’etat. Additionally, the Peruvian Armed Forces alongside the National Police announced that they would not support any unconstitutional actions committed by the president and vowed to be on alert.
Hours after Castillo’s announcement, congress voted to remove him from power, and shortly after he was detained by the National Police in Lima. He was alleged to have attempted to flee to the Mexican Embassy, according to local media. Later that day, vice president Dina Boluarte was sworn in as president, becoming Peru’s first female leader. She is set to govern until July 2026, which is when Castillo’s term would have ended.
Pedro Castillo was elected as the 63rd president of Peru on July 28, 2021, following a close race against Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former controversial leader Alberto Fujimori. Castillo’s term was marked by numerous corruption scandals including accusations of a criminal organization in his government and mass protests against his presidency. Historically, Peru has been plagued with political instability stemming from dictatorships and political terrorism. Most recently, Peru has suffered from government scandals, and attempted impeachments, and has had six different presidents over the course of five years.
Cover image by: Reuters