Police arrested Peruvian President Pedro Castillo in the capital, Lima, a source familiar with the case told CNNE, after lawmakers voted to oust Castillo on a tumultuous day for the South American country.
Vice President Dina Boulwart is expected to be sworn in as Peru’s new president, but she will need to gain cross-party support in order to be able to govern.
A majority of 101 members of Peru’s 130-member Congress voted to impeach the embattled Castillo Wednesday afternoon after Castillo’s attempt earlier in the day to dissolve the assembly and install an emergency government.
Castillo’s call for parliamentary elections to work on a new constitution earlier today sparked a series of ministerial resignations, fiery reactions from senior officials and condemnations from the region’s neighbors.
Prior to the congressional impeachment vote, Poulwart herself criticized Castillo’s dissolution plan on Twitter. “I reject Pedro Castillo’s decision to commit the collapse of constitutional order by closing Congress,” she wrote on Twitter. “It is a coup that exacerbates the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome by strictly adhering to the law.”
At least seven ministers resigned, including Environment Minister Wilbert Rosas, Finance Minister Kurt Borneo, Foreign Relations Minister Cesar Landa and Justice Minister Felix Ciro.
International officials also denounced Castillo’s bid to dissolve Congress, with the US urging the leader to “reverse” the move and “allow Peru’s democratic institutions to operate in accordance with the constitution,” US Ambassador to Peru Lisa Kenna he said on Twitter.
The Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “deep concern about the political crisis that the sister Republic of Peru is going through, and called on all political and social actors to protect democratic institutions, the rule of law and the constitutional order,”Our statement on Twitter.
The left-wing leader’s government has been mired in chaos since his inauguration, with dozens of ministers appointed, replaced, sacked or resigned in just over a year – piling pressure on the president. president.
Castillo, A.; former teacher and a trade union leader, he denounced the opposition for trying to remove him from the first day he was in office. He accused Peru’s attorney general, Patricia Benavides, of masterminding what he called a new form of “coup d’état” against him through her office’s investigations.
In October, Benavides filed a constitutional complaint against him based on three counts The six investigations Her office opened. The complaint allows Congress to conduct its own investigation against the president.
Elected in July 2021 by a narrow runoff margin, Castillo has faced a series of investigations into whether he used his position to benefit himself, his family and closest allies through influence peddling or preferential treatment, among other allegations.
Castillo has repeatedly denied all allegations and has stated his willingness to cooperate with any investigation. He says the allegations were the result of a witch-hunt against him and his family by groups that failed to accept his election victory.
The president faces five preliminary criminal investigations into allegations of corruption schemes while in office. These include allegations by prosecutors that he led a “criminal network” that interfered with public institutions such as the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Ministry of Housing, and the Peruvian state oil company to control public bidding processes and benefit certain companies and close allies.
Prosecutors are also investigating whether the president led efforts to expand influence in the officer promotion process in both the armed forces and the national police.
These investigations expand beyond the president himself, and also deal with the Castillo family, including his wife and sister-in-law. First Lady Lilia Paredes is being investigated on suspicion of coordinating the criminal network. Her attorney, Benji Espinosa, has maintained her innocence, and argues that the investigation against the first lady includes “a number of flaws and omissions.”
Her sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes, is under investigation for allegedly being part of a criminal organization, money laundering and aggravated collusion. She remained in detention until a judge canceled her 30-month “protective detention.” She also denied any wrongdoing.
He said, “My daughter, my wife and my entire family have been attacked with the intention of destroying me only because they don’t want me to finish my term, I promise I will finish my term, I am not corrupt.” During a televised speech from the presidential palace on October 20.
In the same speech, Castillo acknowledged that some of his closest allies must face justice over allegations of corruption, saying, “If they betray my trust, let justice take care of them.”
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