What to do in Peru

Peru’s leftist president, Pedro Castillo, was impeached and arrested last month, triggering nation-wide protests. This week on the AIAC podcast we discuss what comes next for the divided nation.

Protests in Central Lima December 12, 2022. Credit Mayimbú via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.

On December 7, 2022, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was impeached. Castillo ascended to the job in a watershed election in 2021, carrying the hopes of Peru’s poor, downtrodden and marginalized despite facing a hostile, right-wing Congress. This was the third impeachment attempt by the legislative body, and it came after Castillo first tried to avoid removal by dissolving Congress and announcing a “government of national emergency.” Castillo was unsuccessful, and despite attempting to flee the country, was arrested and imprisoned. His deputy president, Dina Boluarte, broke ranks with Castillo and has since become the country’s president.

These events have triggered a nation-wide backlash, with protests in the capital, Lima, as well as Peru’s rural highlands. Protestors are calling for Boluarte to step down, and for elections to take place immediately. Others are calling for Castillo’s reinstatement, and others still, for the wholesale secession from Lima province, given Peru’s stark regional divide between the metropole and the rest of the country. So far, the military repression has been intense, and more than forty people have been killed by security forces.

What comes next for Peru? Will these protests generate momentum for a new constitution to correct Peru’s deep inequalities? Or are they the beginnings of another democratic backslide? This week, Will is joined by Nicolas Allen and José Miguel Munive Vargas to discuss. Nicolas is a graduate student in Latin American history, commissioning editor at (US) Jacobin Magazine and managing editor at Jacobin America Latina. José Miguel is a Peruvian PhD student in Latin American history at Stony Brook University with interests in Andean history (particularly Peru); race, gender, and nationalism.

Listen to the show below, watch it on YouTube and subscribe via your favorite platform.

Further Reading

Vargas Llosa in Congo

Not sure whether Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa’s new novel, El Sueño del Celta (The Dream of the Celt), has been published in English yet — so I might be spoiling it for some future …