Political Turmoil in Peru

MOSES LOPEZ (Copy Editor)

As of Wednesday, Dec. 7, Dina Bolurate is the first woman president of Peru, replacing Pedro Castillo. According to the New York Times, Castillo, Peru’s former president, decreed the formation of an emergency government to dissolve Congress. Castillo was later arrested for an attempted coup and Bolurate, his vice president, was immediately sworn in as Peru’s first female president. Peru’s political turmoil goes even deeper, but according to the L.A. Times, this is a sign of the country’s resilience. 

“It’s cool to see that there is a woman leading a nation,” senior Iliana Encinares said. “It will be interesting to see how someone new to politics will use that power in a time of confusion.” 

Former President Castillo was a teacher-turned-activist who appealed to voters upset about the current political makeup of the country. According to the New York Times, corruption started before he was arrested, involving five cabinet members and cycling through 80 ministers, with many lacking any relevant skills for office and others being investigated for corruption, domestic violence and murder. Boulurate was a former lawyer and member of the Mmarxist party, who, according to the New York Times, had served previously as Castillo’s Minister of Development and Social Inclusions.

“It’s an achievement for Peru to have a woman president but the amount of discourse going on in the country is very sad,” senior Xander Guzman said.

In Lima and other parts of the country, protests arose in response to Bolurate’s presidency, and have since escalated when six people were killed and 100 police officers were injured. According to the L.A. Times, those who were part of the protest were supporters of Castillo and backed by the country’s largest federation of labor unions. No previous leader, according to the New York Times, has been able to unify these diverging groups.

In the past five years, Peru has cycled between six different presidents all resulting from  corruption scandals, impeachments and divisions in the Peruvian government. According to the L.A. Times, elections have become tainted by greed and used for political influence rather than installing and enforcing an effective government. Frustration in the growing inequality from political drama has led to a populist growth and the testing of many young democracies, but continues to showcase and challenge the strength of the country.