June 6, 2021 was a day that shocked many in Peru’s elite. Pedro Castillo Terrones, a rural schoolteacher who had never before been elected to office, won the second round of the presidential election with just over 50.13% of the vote. More than 8.8 million people voted for Castillo’s program of deep social reforms and the promise of a new constitution against far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori. In a dramatic turn of events, the historic agenda of neoliberalism and repression championed by former Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori to his daughter Keiko was rejected in the election.

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From that day on, still in disbelief, the Peruvian elite declared war on Castillo. He made the next 18 months a period of great hostility to the new president as he sought to destabilize his government with a multi-pronged attack that included significant use of legislation. Plans were made by the oligarchy’s leading business group, the National Society of Industries, to make the country unstoppable under Castillo, with calls to “throw out communism”.

In October 2021, the recordings were free It revealed that since June 2021, this group of industrialists, along with other members of the Peruvian elite and leaders of right-wing opposition parties, had been planning a series of actions, including funding protests and strikes. former group military Personnel affiliated with far-right politicians such as Fujimori began openly calling for a violent coup d’état of Castillo, threatening government officials and left-leaning journalists.

The right wing in Congress also joined these plans and attempted to impeach Castillo on two occasions during his first year in office. “Since my inauguration as president, the political arena has not acknowledged the electoral victory given to us by the Peruvian people,” Castillo said in march 2022. “I understand the power of Congressional oversight and political control, however, these mechanisms cannot be used to arbitrate abuse of rights, which are alleged in the Constitution, by ignoring the popular will as expressed in elections, ” he insisted. It is learned that many of these lawmakers were also backed by the right-wing German Foundation meeting Regarding how to amend the constitution to quickly remove Castillo from office.

Peru’s aristocratic rulers could never accept that a rural schoolteacher and peasant leader could be voted into office by millions of poor, black and indigenous people who saw in Castillo hope for a better future. However, in the face of these attacks, Castillo became more and more distant from his political base. Castillo formed four different cabinets to appease business sectors, each time acceding to right-wing demands to remove left-wing ministers who challenged the status quo. He broke With his party Peru Libre when openly challenged by its leaders. He demanded Help from the Organization of American States, already discredited, sought a political solution rather than mobilizing the country’s leading peasant and indigenous movements. Until the end, Castillo was fighting alone without the support of the public or the leftist parties of Peru.

The final crisis for Castillo broke on December 7, 2022. Weakened by months of corruption charges, infighting, and numerous attempts to criminalize him, Castillo was finally overthrown and imprisoned. He was replaced by his vice-president, Dina Boluarte, who was sworn in after Congress voted with 101 votes in favor of Castillo, six against, and ten abstentions.

The vote came hours after he announced to the nation on television that Castillo was dissolving Congress. Three hours before the start of a session of Congress in which a motion to dismiss him for “permanent moral turpitude” was to be debated and voted on was due to allegations of corruption that were being investigated. Castillo also announced the initiation of an “extraordinary emergency government” and the convening of a Constituent Assembly within nine months. He said that he would rule by decree until a Constituent Assembly was established. In his last message as President, he also ordered a curfew to begin at 10 p.m. that night. The curfew, as well as his other measures, were never implemented. Hours later, Castillo was overthrown.

Boluaarte was sworn in by Congress after Castillo was detained at a police station. There were some demonstrations in the capital, Lima, but nowhere near enough to reverse the coup, which lasted nearly a year and a half, the latest in a long history of violence against radical changes in Latin America.

The coup against Pedro Castillo is a major blow to the current wave of progressive governments in Latin America and the mass movements that elected them. The coup and Castillo’s arrest are a reminder that Latin America’s ruling elites will not accept any power without a bitter fight to the end. And now that the dust has settled, the only winners are the Peruvian oligarchy and their friends in Washington.

author bio: Manolo De Los Santos is its co-executive director public forum and researchers Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, He co-edited, recently, Viviremos: Venezuela vs Hybrid War ,left wing books,1804 Books2020) and Companions of the Revolution: Selected Speeches of Fidel Castro ,left wing books,1804 Books, 2021). he is the co-coordinator of People’s Summit for Democracy,

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