The political landscape in Peru is pretty complicated these days. The country has been living a political crisis for years due to the desire of a small minority to control the country both economically and politically. From 2016 until today, five people have occupied the presidential chair. All of them have faced tremendous resistance from Congress, which impeached two of them and threatened to do it with the other two, including the current President Pedro Castillo. The last remarkable event of these tireless attempts by Congress to impeach Castillo was unveiled by the weekly “Hildebrandt en sus Trece”. According to the outlet, two politicians, together with some Congress members from the opposition, including the Congress President Maria del Carmen Alba, gathered in the hotel “Casa Andina de Miraflores” to discuss the best way to get President Castillo out of the way.
Members of a Peruvian community have promised to restart a road blockade against a prominent copper mine, even as a second community promised a 45-day truce in the dispute. The planned disruption is the latest in a series of protests along the road leading to the Las Bambas mine, which is owned by MMG Ltd and produces 2 percent of the world’s copper supply. Dozens of impoverished Andean communities live along the 400km (248 miles) dirt road. They have regularly complained that the trucks transiting to the mine pollute the environment while failing to increase the quality of life for residents. Since opening in 2016, the mining road has been blocked for more than 400 days by different groups.
Addressing the UN General Assembly this September, the minister of foreign affairs of Peru, Óscar Maúrtua, hailed the TPNW’s entry into force as a “great achievement” and “a legal and moral starting point on a long road to achieve nuclear disarmament”. Peru is the 14th country in Latin America to ratify the TPNW, following Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Uruguay, El Salvador, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, and Chile. An additional four countries in the region have signed but not yet ratified the treaty: Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. Gisela Luján Andrade, Peruvian member of the Human Security Network for Latin America and the Caribbean (SEHLAC), an ICAN partner organisation, warmly welcomed Peru’s ratification.
Peru’s Congress rejected the initiation of impeachment proceedings against President Pedro Castillo with 76 votes against, 46 in favor and four abstentions. The vacancy motion was proposed by the right-wing caucus, composed of the parties Avanza País, Popular Renewal, and Popular Force of former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori. In order to be admitted, the proposal had to obtain 40% support in the legislature, equivalent to 52 votes. This was the Peruvian president’s third clash with Parliament in only five months in office. The voting process was accompanied by demonstrations of support for the government in front of Congress. “On behalf of my government I am thankful that the vote of Congress prioritized Peru over all interests. Brothers and sisters, let us put an end to the political crises and work together to achieve a Peru that is just and based in solidarity.
The Ontario-based Aamjiwnaang nation is surrounded on all sides by petrochemical facilities, and members had long suspected that the facilities in “Chemical Valley” had exposed them to potentially dangerous chemicals. The data, which had been held secret for many years, was disclosed by the environment ministry following questions from Global News. The Aamjiwnaang people, situated along the Michigan border, think that the government of Ontario has been disrespectful by withholding the data from them. “This is just the continuation of the Canadian legacy of putting Indigenous people, people of color, at a lower place,” Janelle Nahmabin, also known as Red Cloud Woman and chair of Aamjiwnaang’s environment committee, told Global News.
People are afraid. People have a very reverent attitude toward the Armed Forces, which are understood as guardian institutions of the nation. But a nation does not have tutelage; a democracy does not accept tutelage [rule by the state apparatus]. People do not know, and besides, nobody dares to say that the tanks, the rifles and the ships are ours. They do not belong to the marines or the military: they are ours; they have been bought with our money. The military are public servants, so we have no reason to serve them. But in Peru there is an inverse criterion sponsored by the Armed Forces themselves. Throughout history we have been taught that they are institutions of protection against which you cannot say anything. You can say anything you want against the Bar Association, against the Medical Association, against the Judiciary, but nothing against the Navy, nor against the Army, nor against the Air Force. And I, modestly, as a common citizen, ask myself: Why?
The onslaught of the Peruvian right wing against the government of President Pedro Castillo Terrones began long before he was proclaimed president after many delays—it began when his passage to the second round of the elections was confirmed—and has been intensifying for days with virulence and a frankly coup-like character. It includes, among other maneuvers, demands for the president’s resignation in small but very widespread demonstrations of Fujimorism, and requests from deputies for the replacement of Prime Minister Guido Bellido and Foreign Minister Héctor Béjar. The latter, by the way, has laid the basis for an independent and sovereign foreign policy, a defender of non-intervention, a promoter of unity and regional integration through UNASUR and CELAC, which is a distinct departure from the moribund Lima Group: “we condemn blockades, embargoes and unilateral sanctions that only affect the peoples,” he has said.
A few days after the inauguration of Pedro Castillo, the Peruvian government has changed the official position that its predecessors maintained regarding the internal affairs of Venezuela. Yesterday Perú’s newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Héctor Béjar pointed out that the policy of the new government will be opposition to blockades and “sanctions.” Commenting on the future of the Lima Group directed by the US and formed under Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-18), who is currently under house arrest, Béjar noted that there are already several countries of the interventionist group that changed their position on Venezuela. The Lima Group represented an attempt to bring together countries that did not recognize Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro as the rightful head of state of the Bolivarian Republic.
Peru’s presidential campaign between leftist Pedro Castillo and right-wing Keiko Fujimori has been an epic struggle. When it was clear that Castillo would win with a razor-thin margin, Fujimori — like Donald Trump — cried fraud and is now trying to carry out an electoral coup. While international observers, and even the US State Department, agree that the elections were free and fair, Fujimori’s legal maneuvers have managed to delay the official declaration of the winner, sow even more division among the public, and embolden the far right.
Leftist candidate Pedro Castillo has been formally declared as President-elect of Peru, by the country’s National Electoral Court (JNE), after a month of delays due to baseless claims of ‘fraud’ by far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori. Hours before the official announcement, the JNE stated that they had rejected appeals by Fujimori to annul the results of the June 6th vote. In response, Fujimori vowed to accept the results but insisted that declaring Castillo as the winner is ‘illegitimate’. “Today I announce that in fulfilling my commitment to all Peruvians, to Mario Vargas Llosa, to the international community, I will acknowledge the results because it is demanded by the law and the constitution that I have sworn to defend…the defense of democracy does not end with the illegitimate promulgation of Pedro Castillo, this defense has just begun”, said the defeated candidate.