The South American nation of Peru has been racked by anti-government violence stemming from political instability. In early December, then-President Pedro Castillo declared via a televised address that he would dissolve Congress and replace it with an exceptional emergency government, according to PBS News Weekend. Since his election in 2021, Castillo has faced several attempts from the opposition- dominated Congress to impeach him, resulting in a deadlocked government.
The move by Castillo in December was largely denounced by his own government, and many ministers resigned immediately. Peru’s Congress immediately called an emergency session where the members voted overwhelmingly to impeach the president and fill the vacancy with then-Vice President Dina Boluarte, noted Deutsche Welle.
For her part, Boluarte has vowed to complete Castillo’s term that is set to expire in 2026. However, the new President has since upped that date to 2024, due to the protests of Castillo’s supporters.
Former President Castillo Failed in His Coup Attempt
Peruvian protesters want Boluarte to call for new elections immediately and release Castillo, but Castillo has been formally accused of plotting a coup according to Foreign Policy, making the protesters’ demands nearly impossible to meet. As a result, the Peruvians and their government are at an impasse that will not be resolved easily.
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Even If a New President Is Elected, Peru Will Still Struggle
Peru’s political woes extend beyond this recent bout of unrest, and some of its political and economic issues are related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). For instance, Peru swore in three Presidents during one week in 2020, and the eventual election of Pedro Castillo in 2021 did not bring about much hope for stability.
New elections can bring about a new personality to hold the Presidency, but it will not change the situation with a divided government. In essence, there is little hope for a stable government in the near future as Peru is dealing with much of the same divided populace as much of the world.
The Economy Is Doing Well, But Could See a Downturn
There is one bright spot, however. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria observes that Peru’s economy is still growing and is expected to be the best-performing economy in South America this year.
But one of the issues with Peru’s economic growth is that it is uneven, and much of the rural countryside population has not yet felt any improvement in their lifestyle. In fact, many protestors have traveled from rural areas to Peruvian cities to make their voices heard.
Much of the world is expecting to see an economic downturn this year, and such an event could derail the one positive element in Peru that has persisted despite the political turmoil. Without foreign capital, an export-driven economy like Peru could easily suffer and see its situation deteriorate further.
Though Peru exports materials that are needed in any modern economy, it will be difficult for larger economies such as the U.S. to offer any practical support. Currently, there is a bout of anti-American propaganda sweeping South America.
Peru Will Have to Cope on Its Own for the Foreseeable Future
Like much of the rest of the world, Peru is politically divided and any chance for a unified government is far off. In the meantime, Peru’s situation will, at best, remain volatile without any hope of external support. Peru will have to navigate its crisis alone.
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