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Peru’s ousted president may have been drugged: ex-aide

#Perus #ousted #president #drugged #exaide

Pedro Castillo’s former chief of staff said Friday that the Peruvian ex-president “could have been induced” by drugs to dissolve Congress and does not remember delivering the national address that led to his downfall.

Congress was supposed to debate Castillo’s impeachment on Wednesday on corruption charges, but the president preempted them by announcing in a televised speech that he was dissolving the assembly and would rule by decree.

“There are indications that the president was forced to read the message of dissolution, and whoever wrote the text did so in order to provide an argument for his removal,” ex-aide Guido Bellido said on Twitter.

Bellido, who visited his former boss at the Lima police base where he is held while being investigated for rebellion and conspiracy, also questioned Castillo’s mental condition. 

“The psychological state of P. Castillo when reading the message to the nation shows that he was not in control of his faculties, this suggests that he could have been induced, a toxicological test is urgently needed,” he said.

Bellido, who was Castillo’s first chief of staff in 2021, posted a photo of Castillo in detention, with the message “Be strong, President, the people will free you.”

The suggestion that Castillo acted under the influence of drugs was also put forward by Guillermo Olivera, one of his lawyers. 

“When the former president read that message written by others, a few minutes before they had given him a drink, allegedly water, and that after drinking the water he felt stunned,” Olivera told reporters from the detention center.

“Everyone has seen that he was reading shakily, and I would hypothesize even further, that he was also a little sedated.”

Peru was plunged into political crisis this week when leftist Castillo — facing a third impeachment bid — tried to dissolve Congress.

Lawmakers quickly gathered to vote him out of office, and Castillo was arrested on his way to the embassy of Mexico, which had agreed to give him asylum.

The former rural school teacher, who won a shock election victory over Peru’s traditional elites in June 2021, is being held in provisional detention for seven days.

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#Perus #ousted #president #drugged #exaide

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