Since last December 7, the date on which the Peruvian Congress dismissed President Pedro Castillo and appointed Dina Boluarte, until then vice president, to replace him, popular resistance against this type of legislative coup has not ceased, despite the brutal repression which has caused fifty deaths and some 600 injuries.
40 days after the interruption of democracy, the regime has not been able to consolidate itself and now faces the march on the city of Lima by thousands of peasants who are trying to reach the capital to demand the holding of presidential elections in the course of this year and the call for a constituent assembly, a point that was part of the popular mandate that the ousted president received.
Many of the protesters also demand the release of Castillo, who since his departure from office has been kept in prison by the coup authorities. But the situation of the deposed president is no longer the central reason for the popular insurgency that is maintained above all in rural and mainly indigenous Peru.
That majority sector of the population has mobilized to demand what Castillo could not comply with: a deep renovation of the Peruvian institutional framework that provides the country with political stability that is proven to be impossible in the context of the Fujimori Constitution in force since 1993, as demonstrated by the fact that from 2016 onwards no head of the Executive has been able to finish his term and that of the 10 most recent, six have been subject to judicial accusations.
One of the fundamental factors of the permanent crisis in the midst of which the institutions of public power in Peru are being debated are the excessive prerogatives that the Legislature has and the constitutional weakness of the Presidency, which allows short-term parliamentary coalitions to harass and depose to representatives
In the case of Castillo, it is clear that the corrupt and oligarchic interests represented in Congress not only made it impossible for him to hold office, but also ended up overthrowing and imprisoning him.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, up to now these interests have not been able to build a minimally viable alternative to power and have had to limit themselves to usurping the presidential position – which should reflect and obey the popular will – through Boluarte and his repressive actions.
In short, today in Peru two conflicting visions of the nation are facing each other: that of the right-wing entrenched in Congress, with no other horizon than to defend a violent and illegitimate regime, and that of the majority sectors of the population, who seek to make way for a A truly democratic state in which the government represents and executes the sovereign will of the people.