The recent impeachment of President Pedro Castillo in Peru presents the US with an opportunity to restore its geopolitical and economic relationship with one of its most important allies in Latin America. Peru has an impressive track record of economic growth based on free market reforms and a particularly close relationship with the United States

However, the election of Castillo threatened this relationship, as his Marxist-oriented ideology threatened the economy, while his foreign policy indicated a serious shift towards anti-American interests.

“Castillo was an institutional threat on a whole different scale,” Daniel Reisbeck, a Latin American political analyst at the Cato Institute, told Fox News Digital. “To begin with, his party’s 2021 election manifesto included numerous measures that clearly sought to undermine the constitution’s unequivocal guarantees of private property, which it declares to be ‘inviolable.’

Observers say the impeachment of Castillo by Peru’s Congress this week sent a damning message to Latin America’s left that attempts to play fast and loose with the rules will be met with a harsh institutional response.


The Congress of the country on Wednesday announced the impeachment of the former president of Peru, Pedro Castillo.
(AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

By threatening to shut down Congress, rule by decree and rewrite the Constitution, Castillo emulated his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, who used similar maneuvers to effectively oust the National Assembly and then used a hand-picked constituent assembly to ram through a new Constitution, giving him near-absolute power. The Peruvian people and their institutions sent a resounding message calling for respect for the rule of law and adherence to the constitutional order.

Castillo came from Peru Libre, an openly Marxist political party, and drew inspiration from leaders such as Fidel Castro and Vladimir Lenin. To say that business leaders and investors were worried about the prospect of Castillo’s mandate would be an understatement.

Reisbeck said Castillo was a clear danger to the Peruvian economy. “The constitution also guarantees free enterprise, foreign investment and freedom of the press. Castillo’s platform, on the other hand, set out an agenda to nationalize the mining sector and other major industries, expropriate land and get rid of Peru’s successful private pension system,” he explained.

As Peru’s Congress launched a third impeachment attempt on Wednesday, Castillo went on national television to announce its dissolution, vowing to convene a new Constitutional Assembly and temporarily rule by decree, emulating his Venezuelan counterpart Madura.

However, Castillo appears to have greatly underestimated the level of institutional support, and his surprise announcement prompted a mass resignation from his cabinet and a stern call from the attorney general to respect the constitutional order.


Dino Baluarte (right) greets members of Peru's congress after being sworn in as the new president, hours after former president Pedro Castillo was impeached on Wednesday.

Dino Baluarte (right) greets members of Peru’s congress after being sworn in as the new president, hours after former president Pedro Castillo was impeached on Wednesday.
(CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Finally, in short order, his own vice president, Dino Boluarte, publicly condemned Castillo’s actions:

“I reject Pedro Castillo’s decision to disrupt the constitutional order by shutting down Congress.” This amounts to a coup d’état and exacerbates an institutional political crisis that Peruvian society can overcome only by strictly following the law.”

Peru has an impressive track record of economic growth based on free market-oriented reforms. Still, the election of the far-left Castillo followed a regional trend as left-wing Latin American forces have made a powerful resurgence over the past few years, winning the vast majority of important elections, albeit often by narrow margins, piling up important victories in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia .

After Lula da Silva’s narrow victory in the Presidential elections in Brazil in October, Argentine congressman Javier Millay, a frequent critic of the left in the region, published a meme on Twitter in which he called the Latin America of the USSR the “Union of South American Socialist Republics.”

Castillo’s desperate bid to cling to power echoes similar tactics used by Latin American despots in the past: attempts to shut down opposition bodies by running decrees and calling for new “constituent assemblies” to rewrite the Constitution in their favor.

Castillo’s short tenure as president was marred by numerous corruption investigations involving allegations of bribery and favoritism. Now, more serious charges have been brought against him and close allies in connection with Brilliant waya Marxist guerrilla group based in southern Peru that once controlled vast areas of the country.


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently said that former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo told him he would seek asylum in Mexico.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently said that former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo told him he would seek asylum in Mexico.
(REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo)

Castillo was arrested late Wednesday night in Lima and charged with rebellion and violation of constitutional order. His current whereabouts remain unclear. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico recently announced that they are considering offering asylum to the ex-president.

Rossi Saavedra Medina, who lives in Lima’s Magdalena del Mar district, urged the new president to focus on the economy. “The economy needs to get back to normal now … the poor have been hit the hardest in the last few months,” she told Fox News Digital.

Juan Antonio Castro, a retired math professor and dual US-Peruvian citizen, told Fox News Digital that Castillo “seemed like a corrupt person trying to enrich himself and his family… Why do people vote for these candidates? This is the same thing we saw happening in Venezuela.”

Protesters gathered in various locations in Lima to protest Castillo’s arrest. Some of the protests sometimes turned into violent clashes with the police near the Congress building.


Interim President Boluarte, who hails from the southern Apurimak region, is seen by observers as something of a clean slate, and it remains unclear how she will govern. While she was elected on the ticket of Castillo’s Free Peru party, which maintains Marxist origins, she was later expelled from the organization by party bosses when she said she did not plan to follow the party’s doctrine.

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