Conflicts & War

Peru’s Boluarte names Cabinet led by ex-prosecutor

Lima, Dec 10 (EFE).- Three days after being elevated to Peru’s presidency, Dina Boluarte presented here Saturday a Cabinet of technocrats with former senior prosecutor Pedro Miguel Angulo Arana as prime minister.

Administering the oath of office during a ceremony at the presidential palace, she charged the premier with battling corruption, a tall order in a country where almost every government going back to 1980 has faced accusations of improprieties.

Boluarte went on to swear-in the other 17 members of the Cabinet, including two people who served as deputy ministers under Pedro Castillo, who was ousted Wednesday by Congress after attempting to dissolve the legislature and call elections for a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution.

Alex Alonso Contreras Miranda was promoted to head of the Economy Ministry and Ana Cecilia Gervasi moved up to the post of foreign minister.

The new president tapped retired Gen. Cesar Augusto Cervantes, a former commander of the National Police, to serve as interior minister and made attorney Jose Andres Tello the minister of Justice and Human Rights.

Eight of the 17 ministers are women and none is a member of any party with seats in Congress.

Boluarte became Peru’s first women president on Wednesday after Congress voted to remove Castillo on the grounds of “permanent moral incapacity” following his speech announcing the dissolution of the legislature and an overhaul of Peru’s courts.

Multiple members of Castillo’s Cabinet resigned and Vice President Boluarte echoed lawmakers in labeling the move a coup.

The ousted president’s own security detail arrested him and took him to police headquarters in Lima, short-circuiting Castillo’s plan to request asylum at the Mexican Embassy, and he remains in preventive detention on charges of rebellion.

On Saturday, Anibal Torres, who was Castillo’s prime minister and has been part of the legal team representing the ex-president since his arrest, said on Twitter that he was going underground after the Attorney General’s Office charged him with rebellion and obstruction of justice.

“The prosecutors are political operators,” Torres wrote, disclosing that Attorney General Patricia Benavides identified him as a potential defendant, making it impossible for him to continue representing Castillo.

“They are isolating and humiliating him to send the message that nobody from among the common people should dare to govern the country. My undiminished loyalty to Pedro Castillo is my loyalty to the people,” Torres said.

Castillo, a 53-year-old former schoolteacher, had no previous experience of public office when he ran for president and narrowly won in a runoff against rightist Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori.

Hailing from the poor northern region of Cajamarca and without allies among the traditional governing elite in Lima, Castillo faced hostility from the opposition-controlled Congress and allegations of corruption practically from the moment he took office in July 2021.

Lawmaker Guido Bellido, who was prime minister for the first few months of Castillo’s government, told the media Friday that the deposed president has no memory of making the speech to the nation which led to his ouster.

“The president does not remember,” Bellido said, suggesting that Castillo, whose hands were shaking during the speech, had been drugged. EFE gdl/dr

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