Coup in Peru: President arrested
NAfter the Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, who was suspected of corruption, dissolved the congress shortly before a vote of no confidence against him, he was arrested by the police. This is reported by various Peruvian media in unison. Earlier on Wednesday, the left-wing politician announced the formation of an “emergency government” in a speech to the nation. The largest Peruvian newspaper “El Comercio” immediately spoke of a “coup d’etat”. Castillo also ordered a nationwide curfew. He stated that the judicial system should be reorganized. His party kept their distance from Castillo.
“Congress has destroyed the rule of law, democracy and the balance between state powers,” Castillo said. With the emergency regime, he wants to restore the rule of law and democracy. He quit new elections and held out the prospect of drafting a new constitution. For the time being he will rule with decrees. Anyone possessing illegal weapons must hand them over to the police within 72 hours. Anyone who does not comply with this request must expect imprisonment.
Memories of the 1990s come alive
Castillo, a former trade unionist and village school teacher, surprisingly entered the presidential runoff last year and defeated Keiko Fujimori, whose father, Alberto Fujimori, also dissolved Congress in 1992, which was a coup d’etat equaled.
The current development is reminiscent of that time. The President of Peru’s Constitutional Court, Francisco Morales, called President Castillo’s dissolution of Congress a “coup d’etat” and a violation of constitutional order. Castillo is “no longer President of Peru”. Against the odds, congressmen rallied and declared Castillo superseded. During his short tenure, he had survived two no-confidence votes.
The general secretary of Perú Libre, Castillo’s party, criticized the president after his announcement that he would dissolve the congress. “Perú Libre does not support a coup.” The Perú Libre party describes itself as Marxist-Leninist.