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Timeline: Peru’s Political Crisis Since Pedro Castillo Was Ousted

In the nation in South America, protesters are calling for Castillo’s release, the dissolution of Congress, and early elections.

The impeachment of former President Pedro Castillo at the beginning of December sparked a growing political crisis in Peru.

After the left-wing leader announced plans to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, the Peruvian legislature voted to remove Castillo from office on December 7.

The government has decided to declare a state of emergency across the nation as a result of widespread protests following his removal and subsequent arrest and detention on charges of “conspiracy” and “rebellion.”

Here, Al Jazeera spreads out how the turmoil has unfurled:

December 7, 2022

Before the third attempt to impeach his embattled presidency, Castillo, a former teacher and union leader from rural Peru who took office last year, announces plans to “temporarily” dissolve Congress.

He asserts that the initiative’s objective is to “reestablish the rule of law and democracy” in the nation. However, opposition politicians and observers claim that his announcement is in violation of Peru’s constitution, and Congress votes overwhelmingly to remove Castillo.

Castillo is detained by the police shortly after the vote, and Dina Boluarte, his former vice president, is sworn in as Peru’s first female president by Congress.

Supporting Castillo, protesters gather in Lima, the capital, while others celebrate his removal.

December 8, 2022

Castillo is placed under seven-day detention by a Peruvian judge while charges of “rebellion and conspiracy” against him are investigated. He is being held at a police station near Lima, where former President Alberto Fujimori is also being held.

Castillo’s defense team contends that he was removed from office arbitrarily on fabricated charges of rebellion.

 

One of his lawyers asserts, “It is clear that the crime of rebellion was not committed” because it did not occur.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president of Mexico, says that Castillo called his office to ask for asylum in his country’s embassy, which he intended to grant. However, the Peruvian leader was arrested before he could get there.

After years of political chaos, Boluarte, Peru’s new president, calls for a “truce.” She suggests that calls for early elections among Castillo supporters are “respectable,” after initially stating that she would serve out Castillo’s remaining three and a half years as president.

December 9, 2022

Castillo’s strongholds, particularly the rural areas, see an increase in protests.

On Peru’s main coastal highway, footage of hundreds of farmers demanding early elections is shown on local television. In Lima, police use canes and tear gas to repress several hundred protesters who are attempting to reach the Congress building.

The protesters want Boluarte removed, early elections, Castillo’s release from prison, and the dissolution of Congress.

“We have no specialists. We don’t have anything,” says Juana Ponce, one of the dissidents. ” It is a public disgrace. This multitude of degenerate legislators have sold out. They have betrayed Pedro Castillo, our president.

December 10-11, 2022

The new cabinet is named by Boluarte. She also appoints diplomat Ana Cecilia Gervasi as foreign minister and Pedro Angulo, a former state prosecutor, as prime minister.

The first deaths associated with the unrest have been reported, and the protests continue in several cities in Peru’s interior, including Cajamarca, Arequipa, Huancayo, Cusco, and Puno.

On December 11, protesters attempted to storm the airport of the southern city of Andahuaylas. As a result, two people were killed and at least five others were injured, including a police officer.

December 12, 2022

In an effort to quell the unrest, Boluarte announces plans to move elections forward to April 2024. In areas of “high conflict,” she also declares a state of emergency, giving soldiers more control.

However, the exhibitions grow, most prominently in Peru’s northern and Andean towns, and the loss of life ascends to no less than six. In Arequipa, the second-largest city in the country, hundreds of protesters obstruct an airport runway. Interprovincial transportation is also suspended and flights are canceled.

“put an end to the excessive use of force against demonstrations and guarantee the right to peaceful protest,” Amnesty International advises the Peruvian authorities.

In the meantime, Castillo posts a handwritten letter on social media calling Boluarte, his successor, a “usurper.” The former president states that “the people should not fall for their dirty games of new elections” and that he “will not resign.”

In support of the former president, the governments of Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Bolivia issue a joint statement.

December 13, 2022

As the authorities build their case against him, Judge Cesar San Martin Castro of the Supreme Court denies Castillo’s request to end his preventive detention.

“Not a mere act of speech, but the concrete expression of a will to alter the constitutional system and the configuration of public powers,” the judge states of the former president’s attempt to dissolve Congress.

Castillo stated earlier in the day that he is being held “unjustly and arbitrarily.” He asks Peru’s armed forces and police to “lay down their arms and stop killing these people thirsty for justice,” and he thanks his supporters for taking to the streets.

As the demonstrations continue, 57-year-old protester Juan De La Cruz Gonzalez from Lambayeque tells Al Jazeera in Lima, “We have one simple objective, and that is to shut down this corrupt Congress and change direction.”

December 14, 2022

The government of Boluarte declares a 30-day national emergency. The measure grants authorities the authority to restrict freedom of movement and assembly and gives the police and armed forces more control.

The Supreme Court of Peru meets to consider the prosecutors’ request to extend Castillo’s detention by 18 months; however, the session is later halted for a day.

Castillo appeals to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to intervene on his behalf and invites his supporters to visit the police station where he is being held. Enough is enough! Mistreatment, humiliation, and outrage continue. In a tweet, he writes, “Today they restrict my freedom again with 18 months of pretrial detention.”

Boluarte says the date of Peru’s next decisions can be pushed ahead once more, to December 2023.

December 15, 2022

Castillo’s detention is extended by 18 months by a Supreme Court panel as prosecutors continue their investigation into the criminal charges against him. After making an attempt to obtain asylum at the Mexican embassy in Lima, a judge claims that the former president posed a flight risk.

At least seven people are killed in clashes between protesters and the military in the southern city of Ayacucho, Peru.

Specialists say somewhere around 15 individuals have kicked the bucket the nation over to date, while the ombudsman’s office put the quantity of harmed at 340, with the police saying to some extent half of that complete is from their positions.

15 provinces, most of which are in rural Andean regions, impose a curfew at night.

December 16, 2022

Five Peruvian airports were forced to close as a result of protesters continuing to block important roads. According to a local mayor, approximately 5,000 tourists are stuck in Cusco, the Peruvian city that leads to the popular tourist destination of Machu Picchu.

At least 18 people have died, according to the authorities, as a result of the protests.

Eliana Revollar, the head of the office of the Peruvian Ombudsman, tells the AFP news agency that a criminal investigation needs to be started into the deaths that were reported a day earlier during clashes at the airport in Ayacucho between protesters and the army. She says that gunshot wounds caused deaths.

In the meantime, Boluarte’s government in Lima suffers a series of significant setbacks as a result of the Congress of Peru’s rejection of the constitutional amendment required to move elections forward to December 2023.

Following Culture Minister Jair Perez Branez, Education Minister Patricia Correa also resigns from the new president’s cabinet. Both lament the rising number of protesters killed.

Correa writes on Twitter that “State violence cannot be disproportionate and cause death,” and Perez Branez concurs. In order to restore peace to the people of Peru, I appeal to the highest authority and all powers. “Not another death,” he declares.

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