Peru ex-President Castillo detained as ‘rebellion’ probe proceeds

Peru’s judge has ordered Pedro Castillo to remain in Peru for seven days while authorities investigate allegations of “rebellion or conspiracy” against the former president. He was taken out of office this week and then arrested.

Castillo’s first appearance via videoconference was made on Thursday, just one day after Congress overwhelmingly voted for him to be impeached in the third attempt of his controversial and short-lived presidency.

Thursday’s preliminary hearing was held to determine the legality and conduct an investigation by the attorney General’s office into allegations Castillo had orchestrated an uprising.

The former leader of the teacher’s union looked dejected and nervous, and answered with a simple yes or no. He When Castillo was asked if he would like to address the court, he declined. Castillo was sentenced shortly after the hearing ended to a seven-day provisional jail term.

Castillo was removed from office by Peru’s opposition parliament on Wednesday afternoon, hours after Castillo announced his intention to “temporarily” remove Congress and establish rule by decree.

Castillo had said the measures were intended to “restore the rule of law and democracy” in the South American nation, but his announcement sparked widespread condemnation from observers who accused the president of carrying out a “coup d’état”.

After Castillo was taken into custody by police in Lima after Congress passed the impeachment vote. He He is currently being held in the same police prison that former President Alberto Fujimori is being held. Fujimori was convicted of rights violations.

Peru’s prosecutor claimed that they raided Lima’s presidency, as well as some Lima ministerial offices, in search of evidence against Castillo.

Castillo’s defense team argued that Castillo was arbitrarily removed as Peru’s president on false charges of rebellion. Victor Perez, Victor Perez’s lawyer, said that “it is clear that no crime of rebellion was committed” as it didn’t materialize.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador revealed Thursday that Castillo called his office to request asylum in his country’s embassy, ​​which he intended to grant, but the Peruvian leader was arrested before he could arrive.

Marcelo Ebrard from Mexico said that Castillo, Mexico’s ambassador to Peru, was able meet him there.

Pedro Castillo (center), sat next to Anibal Torres, former Prime Minister of Peru, in a car after he left Lima’s police station on December 7, 2022. [Gerardo Marin/Reuters]

Mariana Sanchez of Al Jazeera reported from Lima prison, where Castillo is held. She said that a small group of Castillo’s supporters gathered outside on Thursday. “[They] are very concerned about the welfare of Castillo,” said Sanchez.

“Prosecutors have asked [for] a pre-trial detention. Castillo stays here [in prison] because, according to prosecutors, there is a danger that he could escape,” she added.

Dina Boluarte was installed as Peru’s first female president on Wednesday afternoon. She called for a “truce”, to unify a nation that has been marred by years of political instability.

Boluarte, who was previously Vice President of Castillo, also suggested she consider calling an early election — something that would require approval from a hard-to-get constitutional amendment. Boluarte stated Thursday, “I know there’s voices calling for early elections and this would be democratically respectful.”

Castillo’s dramatic fall was after he narrowly defeated his right-wing opponent, Keiko Fujimori in the divisive 2021 election.

His presidency was marred by corruption allegations from the very beginning. After appointing five cabinet members and an estimated 80 ministers in a little over a year and half, the political novice was also accused.

Castillo’s latest legal battle began in October, when the prosecutor’s department filed a constitution complaint against Castillo. Castillo was accused of leading “a criminal organisation” to profit from state contracts. Also, Castillo was accused of obstructing investigations.

Boluarte Stands In Pale Yellow Suit, Two Men, On Either Side, Fasten A Red And White Sash Over Her Shoulder
After the impeachment vote, Dina Boluarte was sworn into office as president [Guadalupe Pardo/AP Photo]

Congress summoned Castillo last week to address allegations of “moral inability to govern.” Castillo had called the allegations “slander” made by groups looking to “profit and seize power that the people were taking at their polls.”

Gustavo Petro, the leftist President of Colombia, claimed that Castillo had committed “political Suicide” by using a clause from the Constitution as a weapon against his opponents in Congress. He said Castillo never allowed him to govern.

Petro stated that “anti-democracy cannot he fought with more Anti-Democracy,” echoing similar remarks made by Brazil’s new president LuizInacio Lula da Silva.

Petro also called on Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to intervene as Castillo was not able to be given a fair trial in Peru.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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