PeruFormer President Pedro Castillo was imprisoned
Pedro Castillo, who was dismissed by the Peruvian parliament on Wednesday after a “conspiracy” attempt, was placed in pre-trial detention for a week on Thursday.
A Peruvian judge on Thursday ordered seven days of pretrial detention against former President Pedro Castillo, who was ousted by parliament on Wednesday and then arrested after his “coup” attempt.
Pedro Castillo, prosecuted for “rebellion” and “conspiracy,” was held the day before the “arrest” and transferred overnight to a police base in Lima. The Supreme Court on Thursday announced on its Twitter account that it had “ordered the temporary detention of former President Pedro Castillo for seven days.”
The day after he tried to dissolve parliament and form a government by decree, security forces raided the president and some ministries at dawn in search of evidence against him, including surveillance camera footage.
The 53-year-old former president, wearing the same blue jacket as the day before, appeared gruff during his hearing by video conference at the Supreme Court on Thursday. Visibly nervous, he allowed his lawyers to say that “the crime of sedition was not committed” because it did not materialize.
Some of his supporters gathered in front of Pedro Castillo’s platform holding placards demanding new elections. A few hundred people gathered in the two southern Andean cities in strongholds where the rural teacher for 24 years enjoyed popular support unlike the capital.
But his electors did not rally in the second round of the June 2021 vote, which is a public holiday in Peru this Thursday. In a 17-month presidency that has seen four prime ministers appointed, Pedro Castillo has sparked a reaction of rejection among 70% of the population, according to a recent poll.
“Government of National Unity”
Its vice president Dina Boluarte, who was invested after the ouster of Pedro Castillo – who was elected with him within the Marxist-inspired party Free Peru – moved urgently on Thursday to form an open government and ensure the stability of institutions.
The Latin American country’s first female head of state has called for a showdown with the opposition to “establish a government of national unity” as she doubts whether to weather the political storm. He has not ruled out the idea of considering an early election, saying he wants to rule until “July 2026”, the date when his predecessor’s current mandate ends.
“We will explore the best way to steer the country’s destiny,” replied the 60-year-old lawyer, asked at his first press conference in Lima on Thursday. He pledged on Thursday the support of the European Union to “restore negotiations and strengthen the rule of law and democratic institutions in Peru” but he pledged to “train” for a “unity government” from the United States.
Asylum in Mexico
A third impeachment procedure got the better of the far-left president on Wednesday. Pedro Castillo tried his best by announcing the dissolution of the parliament that tried to overthrow him. But none of the government bodies supported him in his enterprise, a proof of his isolation.
Parliament ignored his solemn announcement to the nation and voted for his impeachment on grounds of “moral incapacity” – a vote televised live. The move was approved by 101 of the 130 members of parliament, 80 of whom are in the opposition.
On Thursday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed rumors that Pedro Castillo had sought political asylum at the embassy in Lima before his arrest. He explained that he had asked his foreign minister to issue instructions to the diplomatic mission in Lima. And so, “according to asylum tradition,” Pedro Castillo would be welcomed there. But eventually “he could go no further and he was immediately arrested,” he said.
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