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Castillo closes the year in Peru with twelve ministerial changes in just five months in office

Pedro Castillo’s first five months at the helm of Peru have been far from assuming the tranquility that the country sought with the last elections held between April and June to end one of the most convulsive stages in its recent history – with five presidents in just four years -, leaving twelve ministerial changes in less than half a year of government.

Castillo has had to face tireless opposition from the main media groups, a Congress that despite being highly divided has not hesitated to unite against him, and his own party, Peru Libre, who has accused him of being lukewarm. in his policies against those who consider him a radical.

From the outset, he has hovered over suspicions of nepotism within his cabinet, with almost all of his ministers questioned on different issues, either because of their lack of experience to hold a position of that relevance, or because of alleged relations with terrorist groups. , or for having incurred in irregularities of all kinds.

The last to leave was the former head of Education, Carlos Gallardo, still without a replacement in sight, who resigned a few days ago after being censored by Congress due to the alleged leak of the exams for teachers and for his relationship with the Fenate, the teachers’ union founded by Castillo.

Before he held that same portfolio Juan Cadillo, relieved of his position by Castillo, according to him, through a WhatsApp message. He was one of the seven ministers who left on October 6 when Mirtha Vásquez took the reins of the cabinet after the resignation of a much-questioned Guido Bellido.

The first to have to leave office was Héctor Béjar. The former head of Foreign Affairs submitted his resignation just a few weeks after being chosen by Castillo to head the Peruvian diplomacy after the political and media pressure he received for statements in February 2021 in which he accused the Navy and the CIA of be responsible for terrorism in the country.

After him came the aforementioned Bellido, who led Castillo’s government team for two months, enough time to deal with criticism from the opposition, who attributed little preparation, and the Prosecutor’s Office, which opened a series of investigations for alleged apology of terrorism.

Bellido, for some, the voice of the head of Peru Libre, Vladimir Cerrón, in that cabinet, threatened to dissolve Congress if the agrarian reform was not approved, they were seen with Óscar Maúrtua, from Foreign Affairs, due to their differences regarding relations Peru with Venezuela, and Castillo had to publicly deny his statements about nationalizing some companies.

Among the most questioned was also the former Minister of Labor, Iber Maraví, who had to appear at the end of September before Congress to answer for the complaints that linked him to terrorist groups, an accusation, on the other hand, recurrent by the opposition towards Castillo and his family. He did not get parliamentary endorsement and was replaced by Betssy Chávez in Vásquez’s cabinet.

They were followed by the former Minister of the Interior, Juan Carrasco, questioned by an alleged intervention of the Police in the Directorate against Terrorism; Iván Quispe, head of the Ministry of Production; and the questioned Iván Merino, from Energías y Minas, who after Bellido’s departure did not have a place in Vásquez’s team, who also did not have Ciro Gálvez, until then in Culture.

The other most notorious cases arrived with Vásquez already at the head of the cabinet. Luis Barranzuela, who had replaced Juan Carrasco at the head of the Interior, resigned on November 2 after it was revealed that he had held a party at his home, thus bypassing the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, although in his resignation letter he rejected “the false accusations” about him. He was replaced by Avelino Guillén.

The next great controversy was carried out by Walter Ayala, who was accused of pressuring to try to force certain promotions in the Armed Forces. The Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation against him and against the Secretary General of the Presidential Office, Bruno Pacheco, who resigned shortly after, in which President Castillo has been questioned as a witness.

His replacement was not without controversy either, as it was Juan Carrasco, the former Interior Minister. Finally and before Gallardo left the Ministry of Education, it was Roger Incio, just a month at the head of Production, who left his position to Jorge Prado.

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