Why should Pedro Castillo leave power?

Peru’s President Pedro Castillo reacts to the national anthem before his address to the nation, in Lima, Peru, on July 28, 2022. Ernesto Arias/Peru’s Congress/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS: THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED FOR A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO FILES

President Pedro Castillo celebrates one year in government. During these months, the constant has always been the political crisis due to misappointments of officials in various sectors of the State, the lack of direction to establish long-term reforms and the most recent: serious acts of corruption have appeared against him and his environment closer than they could land you in prison.

The prosecution of the nation accuses Castillo of being head of a criminal organization influence peddling, aggravated collusion and crimes against the public administration under the crime of personal concealment for the cases Tarata III Bridge, the promotions in the Armed Forces and the Police, the escape of officials close to his government and the interference in the purchase of biodiesel from Heaven Petroleum Operators by Petroperú.

In addition, it is in the process of alleged crime for plagiarism of his thesis.

Due to this complicated panorama, the pollster Ipsos posed a question to the public in May: Do you think the president should resign or should he continue with the government until his term ends in 2026?

The result was that 62% of Peruvians consider that the head of state should withdraw from office. This represents a decrease of one point (63%) compared to what was achieved last April. On the other hand, 36% indicate that Castillo should fulfill his mandate until 2026. Meanwhile, 2% do not specify his answer. These figures, in addition, are related to the marches that have been carried out and would be reactivated against the head of state.

Various analysts have called for Castillo to resign. However, a good opportunity would also be to listen to the people who were with him in his government. Infobae contacted former Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez, former Ministers Hernando Cevallos (Health), Mariano González (Interior) and Ciro Gálvez (Culture) to know your impressions.

former prime minister Mirtha Vasquez He resigned on January 31 last after almost four months in the Executive Branch. Nearly six months later, he holds in dialogue with Infobae that saddens him how the government of Pedro Castillo has been weakening little by little.

It entered with significant legitimacy from a certain sector of the population, especially from the provinces. I think we all had hope that it would be a different government as he promised and that it would represent the most vulnerable sectors that had been neglected. I had the hope that this government has a better course”, Indian.

Vásquez considered that it was a “good opportunity” to support with the Executive when it was summoned by the Head of State. “If you remember, we set ourselves goals for December of last year and we achieved some things. For example, on the topic of vaccination, we made a commitment with the Minister of Health to reach 80% by the end of the year, and we achieved it. When there were several conflicts between them and they had to be unlocked and channeled. We put together a team to deal with this problem. We also work with a multisectoral team with the Ministry of Education to launch a series of actions for the return to classes that, finally, were achieved in March of this year”, pointed.

The former prime minister recalls that she spoke, at the time, with President Castillo to try to distance herself from the initial events that involved her relatives in acts of corruption. “As a government we could not be involved in these matters. I feel like the president didn’t trust me very much. I feel that it was a problem about his environment and the acts of corruption. I think there was a mistaken view of how to manage the State with those concepts of a patrimonial State. As if it were owned by him”, said.

Mirtha Vásquez, former Prime Minister, raised her voice through networks against the report that would exempt Merino.  |Photo: PCM
Mirtha Vásquez, former Prime Minister, raised her voice through networks against the report that would exempt Merino. |Photo: PCM

Vásquez mentions that the constant changes of officials in the ministries have been an element for the delay in public management. “Little by little, I feel that the government is disfiguring itself and losing the objectives it had. You no longer feel like you have long-term or short-term goals. That has been fading. It seems to me that, now, they are more focused on how they sustain and defend themselves from these corruption scandals. It has displaced what it is to set management goals for the country”, Add.

Regarding possible solutions to the political crisis, the former prime minister emphasizes that she has never agreed with the vacancies. However, given the circumstances, she assured that two fundamental issues must be evaluated: a weakened government that will not be able to overcome the issues of corruption so easily and a Legislative that does not control the Executive and is also determined to survive.

Vásquez considered that the advancement of the general elections “It may be a way out, but this must be accompanied by minimal reforms to ensure that those who apply will not repeat these same patterns of corruption within public management.”

“Citizens will have a fundamental role. The Executive and Legislative do not seem to have sensible proposals for what the country requires”, she mentioned.

For his part, the former Minister of Health, Hernando Cevallostold Infobae that the Executive Branch has lost its way, which does not adjust to the initial program announced by the president, there is a lack of communication and transparency with the citizenry.

Nevertheless, He indicated that these problems are also presented by a permanent check by power groups that, in no way, allow the government to advance in its proposals and promises that were outlined a year ago. “I consider that we are facing a political system that does not give for more”, pointed.

Cevallos pointed out that, despite the errors, Castillo continues to be a popular reference for a sector of the population. However, he acknowledged that there is a process of disenchantment because the president has not been able to keep his promises and hold tight to the helm of this country. He stressed that one of the achievements of this government was to avoid 150,000 deaths in a third wave. “On this issue, the president did not put me in any way to continue working,” pointed.

Photo: Andean.
Photo: Andean.

The former minister maintains that the government is shifting to the center-right and is carrying out populist initiatives to maintain itself. I do not believe that Castillo will fulfill the promises of the structural changes that he promised. He was elected for five years like the congressmen. We have a Constitution that, in our opinion, should be changed to give the people more possibilities for their future. That is to say, if the president incurs in an act of corruption, he must be duly verified with a specific case and with evidence”, he indicated.

Cevallos emphasized that, if President Castillo’s acts of corruption are proven, do you agree with which he leaves office. “If the situation worsens, people can go out to ask for changes or for the government to change. It is not a decision of the newspaper El Comercio, of María del Carmen Alva, Confiep and the National Mining Society. Since when are they interested in Castillo leaving for being corrupt? There are many interests here. They seek to get Castillo out because he does not fully guarantee the economic groups and they do not forgive him for his humble origins for being a teacher and a farmer ”, settled.

The former Minister of the Interior, Mariano Gonzalez, was ratified in dialogue with Infobae that President Castillo should not remain in power for another day. “The constitutional order has defined mechanisms. The ideal thing would be for Mr. Castillo to resign not only because of the corruption investigations, but also because he does not have the slightest ability to continue running the country. Given this, via resignation or vacancy, he should assume the vice president by constitutional succession. But if she is disqualified, she would have to take over as president of Congress, which must call general elections. I believe that the constitutional solution would be to cut everyone’s mandate”, held.

Gonzalez argued that The current Congress could also not remain because there are parliamentarians, such as the so-called “Los Niños” of Popular Action, who have been identified as accomplices in the acts of corruption of this government. “Although Castillo has affected the institutionality of the presidency of the Republic, the majesty of Parliament is also damaged because congressmen are being investigated for acts of corruption. That is why, I insist, the viable solution is to advance the elections”, narrowed down

After it became known that Bruno Pacheco is at the disposal of the Prosecutor's Office, former Minister Mariano González spoke on his social networks.  Photo: Andean
After it became known that Bruno Pacheco is at the disposal of the Prosecutor’s Office, former Minister Mariano González spoke on his social networks. Photo: Andean

The former official He also emphasized that he agreed with the proposal that some criminal lawyers have put forward as the suspension of the president in the exercise of their functions until the investigations last. “In whatever way, constitutional or judicial, we must find an articulated, democratic way out and within the constitutional parameters. If we don’t make it, then I’m afraid the last ratio will be that the street explodes. In other words, if there is a social upheaval and that would be very harmful not only for our people, but it would also affect our economy and we would enter a much more acute level of crisis”, forecast.

Finally, the former head of the Ministry described as “nasty” the alleged bribes that would have been given in promotions within the National Police. “For me, the fact that I have a firm commitment and respect for the institutions, such as the Armed Forces and the Police, really affects me enormously. I think the only thing left is to claim the fair criminal sanction for all those who have participated, “ mentioned.

Despite this scandal that damages the image of the police institution, González once again highlighted Colonel Harvey Colchado’s special team of officers who managed to hand over Bruno Pacheco. “Not everything is lost. The colonels that make up this team will be the new face of the Police,” settled.

For his part, the former Minister of Culture, Ciro Galvezresponded in a brief dialogue to Infobae that President Castillo must leave office “if you have any dignity left” against the serious acts of corruption against him.The 20,000 dollars found in the Palace bathroom, the clandestine meetings in Breña’s house and so many cases of corruption in the State are incorrect and immoral acts by the president that are outrageous, create greater confusion and chaos. Now it is added that he would have received bribes ”, pointed.

Minister Gálvez participated in the Ayacucho International Book Fair.  Photo: Andean
Minister Gálvez participated in the Ayacucho International Book Fair. Photo: Andean

Gálvez added that the president betrayed the popular sectors and the original peoples who had supported him during the last electoral campaign, but when he came to power he forgot about them.There is no work, the pandemic has not been controlled, the environment is increasingly polluted, the peasant and native communities are homeless, water is scarce. He has not kept any campaign promises. He is a disappointment as president.” pointed.

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