Conflicts & War

Peru’s ousted president in same prison as Fujimori after failed alleged coup

Lima, Dec. 7 (EFE).- The ousted president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, who is being prosecuted for an alleged coup attempt and conspiracy, was taken Wednesday to the Barbadillo prison in Lima’s Ate, where former president Alberto Fuijimori is serving a 25-year sentence.

After being detained for several hours in Lima Prefecture, Castillo was taken to a police station in Rimac district before being transferred by helicopter to Barbadillo prison, the police prison located in the Directorate of Special Operations (Diroes).

EFE was able to verify that Castillo was escorted out of Lima Prefecture in handcuffs.

Soon after, Dina Boluarte was appointed Peru’s first woman president, who appealed for unity at a time of great political crisis.

Boluarte, a 60-year-old attorney who woke up Wednesday as vice president, called for a “broad process of dialogue among all the political forces.”

Meanwhile, a team from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, led by the Attorney General Patricia Benavides and the National Police, entered the Government Palace as part of the preliminary proceedings against Castillo for the alleged crimes of rebellion and conspiracy.

Officers from the Prosecutor’s Office also visited the premises of several ministries to collect evidence concerning the investigation opened against the former head of state.

The Public Ministry announced the initiation of these preliminary investigations while Castillo was being detained in the Prefecture for allegedly “violating the constitutional order.”

Peru’s long-simmering political crisis was brought to a boil Wednesday morning by a televised address by Castillo announcing the closure of Congress and the installation of “a government of exceptional emergency.”

His hands shaking, he directed officials to expedite arrangements to elect “a new Congress with constituent powers to draft a new constitution within a period of no more than nine months.”

Along with elections to choose a new legislature, he proclaimed a reorganization of the entire judiciary and of the Attorney General’s Office.

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum, including members of the cabinet, denounced Castillo’s move as a coup.

The announcement did not receive the backing of most of the now former members of his Government. The Armed Forces, the National Police, the Constitutional Court and the Judiciary too refused to endorse the move.

Hours later, the Congress debated a third impeachment proceeding against him, which was finally approved by 101 of the 130 legislators who make up the Peruvian hemicycle.

After being dismissed by the Legislature, Castillo was arrested in an operation led by Attorney General Benavides, who hours earlier had denounced his move as a “breach of the constitutional order.” EFE


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