The political tragedy reflects a larger trend across Latin America, analysts say. Corruption, widespread frustration over growing inequality, and enduring anger at the elite have fueled distrust and populism across the region.
Things to know about the overthrow of the President of Peru
Who is Pedro Castillo? Peru’s leftist president was elected in 2021 after campaigning on a promise to tackle the country’s chronic inequality. But in less than a year and a half in office, Mr. Castillo was disturbed by corruption scandal. Congress of Peru voted to overthrow him after his critics accused him of plotting a coup.
These factors have led to repeated tests of nascent democracies, nurturing extreme candidates and leaders that cause distrust of election results, in some cases. applying the strategy of former President Donald J. Trump.
However, while some countries, including Venezuela and Nicaragua, have fallen to autocracy, democracy has be resilient recently in countries like Brazil and Colombiaboth hold elections this year to challenge the strength of their institutions.
“They don’t thrive,” said Steve Levitsky, a professor of government at Harvard University, of Latin American democracies, “but they do exist, and that’s no small thing.”
Mr. Castillo is being held at a naval base on the outskirts of the capital Lima, where he faces charges of “sedition,” according to the prosecutor’s office. On Thursday, he appeared at his first trial, in which a judge approved a request to detain the former president for at least a week as the case against him was prepared.
Guillermo Olivera, a lawyer who told local media he represented Castillo, called the former president’s arrest “horribly arbitrary, illegal and criminal.”
In an interview, the US ambassador to Peru, Lisa Kenna, praised the institutional response to Mr. Castillo’s attempt to dissolve Congress, calling it a “victory for democracy in Peru. “