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Peru’s rollercoaster of political upheaval

#Perus #rollercoaster #political #upheaval

Peru, whose President Pedro Castillo was removed from office Wednesday in an impeachment vote by Congress, has been rocked over the past two decades by a rollercoaster of political crises.

– Nov 2000: Fujimori flees –

In November 2000, Congress impeaches President Alberto Fujimori, elected 10 years previously and accused of corruption, on grounds of “moral incapacity.” 

He had fled to Japan the previous day and resigned by fax.

Fujimori was later jailed for 25 years for corruption and human rights abuses while in office.

In March 2022, the constitutional court orders his release, reinstating a “humanitarian pardon.”

– 2003-2015: Government crises –

The country is paralyzed by weeks of strikes in 2003 and president Alejandro Toledo declares a state of emergency. 

His cabinet quits in June 2003.

In October 2008, Social Democratic President Alan Garcia’s cabinet resigns to avert a censure resolution over the granting of concessions to Norwegian oil company, Discover Petroleum.

Leftist ex-military man Ollanta Humala becomes Peru’s first leftist leader in 36 years. One year later members of his government, criticized for their management of social conflicts that leave 17 dead, resign.

In March 2015 Congress sacks prime minister Ana Jara over claims that the intelligence agency had spied on lawmakers, reporters and business leaders for years. 

– 2017-2018: corruption probes –

 

In March 2017, prosecutors order investigations into center-right president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, an ex-Wall Street banker elected in 2016, over alleged links to a massive scandal involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

A day before a second impeachment vote in March 2018, Kuczynski resigns and is replaced by his deputy, Martin Vizcarra. He is placed in preventative detention and then under house arrest.

– Oct 2018: Keiko Fujimori arrested –

 

In October 2018, Fujimori’s daughter Keiko, the leader of the opposition, is taken into custody over claims she accepted illicit Odebrecht funding for her party. She is held in preventative detention for 16 months before being freed on bail.

In March 2022 prosecutors demand she be given 30 years in prison.

– April 2019: Garcia’s suicide –

In April 2019, ex-president Garcia commits suicide as police are about to arrest him on allegations of taking Odebrecht bribes, which he denied.

In May Humala and his wife are charged with allegedly laundering assets as part of the same scandal. They go on trial in February 2022.

Toledo is arrested in the United States in July after claims he also took a massive payout. The US authorizes his extradition in September 2021.

– Sept 2019: Vizcarra impeached –

Vizcarra dissolves Congress in September after it blocks anti-corruption reforms, and calls elections for January 2020.

Congress votes to suspend Vizcarra for a year for “moral incapacity” and votes that he be replaced by the vice president.

But military chiefs, police and regional governors back Vizcarra. The vice president resigns.

Support for Fujimorism collapses in the January 2020 elections.

Vizcarra is impeached in November, weeks after a recording of him trying to persuade witnesses to cover up in a corruption probe emerge. 

Parliament speaker Manuel Merino is installed as interim leader the next day but quits after five days after two protesters die when police crack down on a huge march against him in Lima.

Engineer Francisco Sagasti, elected parliamentary speaker, becomes interim president.

– Dec 2021-March 2022: moves to oust Castillo –

 

In December 2021, and again in March 2022, the opposition-controlled parliament rejects two attempts to impeach leftist President Castillo, in power since July.

In February he had named his fourth cabinet in six months.

In August he comes under investigation in six corruption cases, including accusations against his family and political entourage.

On October 11, Peru’s attorney general files a constitutional complaint accusing Castillo of criminal organization and corruption, an action that could lead to his suspension.

It is the first time a sitting president of Peru has been targeted by such a complaint.

– Dec 7, 2022: emergency government –

On December 7, Castillo dissolves Congress and says he will form an emergency government that will rule by decree, just hours before a debate was due over his impeachment. Lawmakers ignored his announcement and voted overwhelmingly to remove Castillo from office, triggering a constitutional crisis.

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