The Political Crisis in Peru

On December 7, Peruvian president Pedro Castillo attempted to dissolve Peru’s Congress and implement a state of emergency. His dictatorship lasted only a few hours before he was impeached by Congress and arrested—making him the fifth president to leave office in Peru in five years. Since Castillo’s arrest, Peru’s crisis has spiraled further, with protests in the streets and a violent response by the police and military that has left 25 people dead. 

To understand what’s going on right now in Peru, Lawfare senior editor Quinta Jurecic spoke with Rodrigo Barrenechea, a 2022/23 Santo Domingo Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University and an assistant professor at the Departamento de Ciencias Sociales of the Universidad Católica del Uruguay. They talked about how and why Peru ended up here, the fragile state of the country’s democracy, and why Rodrigo thinks that Castillo’s attempted dissolution of Congress was “the most ill-planned coup d’etat in Latin American history.”

You can read Rodrigo’s article on the crisis in the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio (in Spanish) here.

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