As always, if you’re interested, please check this page regularly and new reports will be at the top of the page. (You’ll probably have to refresh/reload the page to see new reports.)
I encourage people to follow my Twitter account (@ExploreCusco) tonight as much of the incredibly fast breaking news is being shared there.
Thursday (November 19)
The cabinet of President Sagasti and Prime Minister Violeta Bermúdez has been installed and includes three former members of the Vizcarra cabinet and the first female head of defense. Eight women make up the new cabinet.
Prime Minster Bermudez is a 59-year-old lawyer who is an expert in constitutional and gender issues. Violeta Bermúdez had been the lawyer of the then first lady Susana Higuchi in the mid-1990s, when she denounced a kidnapping and torture of her husband, President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000).
Waldo Mendoza, an economist who was former president Alejandro Toledo’s (2001-2006) deputy finance minister and zealous for fiscal prudence, was appointed to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Esther Astete, who was ambassador to Mexico, takes over as head of diplomacy, while Rubén Vargas, who had been deputy minister of security during the government of Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) and former anti-drug chief of Vizcarra (2018-2020), was named Minister of the Interior.
Pilar Mazzetti was appointed Minister of Health, a medical expert in public health who held the same position until nine days ago with Vizcarra, so for months she was in charge of efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alejandro Neyra, a lawyer, writer and diplomat who also held this portfolio with Vizcarra and who had previously held the same responsibility with Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), remained Minister of Culture.
Nuria Esparch, a lawyer who was vice minister of this portfolio in Alan García’s second term (2006-2011) was appointed Minister of Defense. Between 2014 and 2018, she served as institutional relations manager for the Graña y Montero construction company, which was involved in the corruption scandal of the Brazilian company Odebrecht. She is the first woman to ever hold this position.
Ricardo Cuenca Pareja will head the Ministry of Education. He is a social psychologist with a doctorate from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, a well-known promoter of educational reform in the country, director and principal researcher of the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP) and principal professor of the department of education at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH).
Eduardo Vega Luna will take over the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. He studied law and political science at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM). He is remembered for his work as an ombudsman, which he carried out for five years, between 2011 and 2016.
Silvana Vargas will do the same at the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion. She has experience in the public sector as general director of policies and strategies of the vice-ministerial office of policies and social evaluation of the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion.
Federico Tenorio Calderón is in charge of the Agriculture and Irrigation sector. He has a degree in Public Administration and Management. He did his higher studies at the Universidad Continental, as well as accounting at the Universidad Nacional del Centro (Huancayo).
Tenorio Calderón has been working as executive director of the Ecumenical Center for Promotion and Social Action (Cedepas Norte) and has extensive work experience in private rural development organizations.
José Luis Chicoma will be in charge of the Ministry of Production. He is an economist educated at the Universidad del Pacífico. He has worked as Director of Exports in PROMPERU, teacher and collaborator in several magazines. Between 2009 and 2010 he was Vice Minister of Mype and Industry of Production.
Claudia Cornejo Mohme was elected to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Lafayette College (Pennsylvania, USA) and a Master’s degree in Political Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom). She was Deputy Minister of Tourism (2011-2013) and before that she was in the National Directorate of Tourism Development (2010-2011).
Eduardo Gonzalez Chavez goes to the office of Transport and Communications. He has a degree in journalism from the Universidad Jaime Bausate y Meza and has completed a master’s degree in Public Management from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI). He has been Chief of Cabinet of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, as well as of the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation.
Silvia Loli Espinoza will lead the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations. In addition to her work at the Vice-Ministry of Women, she has held the position of head of the General Directorate against Gender Violence in the same ministry, in the Women’s Department of the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima.
Javier Quijandría Acosta will head the Ministry of the Environment. He has a master’s degree in Natural Resources Administration from INCAE Business School Alajuela, Costa Rica. He has served as Deputy Minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources in that sector from 2011 to August 2016, and from March 2019 to November 2020.
Javier Palacios Gallegos takes over the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion. He is a lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and has more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors.
Solangel Fernández will lead the Housing, Construction and Sanitation office. She is an architect graduated from the National University of Engineering (UNI) and has two master’s degrees from the University of Cambridge and Oxford Brookes University.
Before accepting the portfolio she held the position of Technical Coordinator of the Metropolitan Development Plan of Callao to 2040 in the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation.
MONDAY (NOVEMBER 16)
Congressman Francisco Sagasti (Morado Party) will assume the Presidency of the Republic after the Congress of the Republic approved this afternoon the list for the Board of Directors of the Parliament that he led.
Sagasti will take the position after the resignation of Manuel Merino. Meanwhile, Mirtha Vásquez will occupy the presidency of the Parliament and Luis Roel and Matilde Fernández the first and second vice-presidencies, respectively. The multi-party list to form the Board of Directors with 97 votes in favor, 26 against and 0 abstentions.
This afternoon, a new list was presented for the Board of Directors presided over by the Morado Party and made up of representatives from other parties. The list presented this afternoon before the Mayor’s Office less than an hour before the resumption of the Plenary Session would replace the initial list that only included legislators from the Morado Party.
Congressman Gino Costa, spokesman for the party, highlighted the consensus reached for the formation of this multi-party list. “(…) To record the interest of our party in continuing to nominate Francisco Sagasti to preside over Congress. We have withdrawn it and at the same time we have presented a multi-party list,” he said.
Costa also highlighted the consensus reached among various political forces and said he hoped that he would have the support of Congress to achieve its approval and help overcome the political crisis the country is going through after the vacancy of President Martin Vizcarra and the recent resignation of the president in charge, Manuel Merino.
Sagasti will likely appoint a Prime Minister in the next day or two and a cabinet will be presented in the next day or two after that.
Sagasti is one of the founders of the Morado Purple) Party. He met in 1996 with the leader of this political organization, Julio Guzmán, when he was working for Agenda Económica. During the government of Ollanta Humala, he met again with Guzmán, who at that time worked for the Secretariat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM).
After the 2016 general elections, when Guzmán’s candidacy with the Todos por el Perú party was frustrated, Sagasti was one of the first to be called upon to build the Morado Party.
Sagasti is an engineer. He graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI), the same alma mater as former president Martín Vizcarra. He has been founder and Executive Director of Grade, President of the Board of Directors of FINCyT, member of the National Council of Science and Technology and was the first Peruvian to receive the Robert Merton International Award. He has more than 25 books published.
Last December, during CADE 2019, while prosecutor José Domingo Pérez raided the offices of Confiep for the investigations against Fuerza Popular in the Lava Jato case, Sagasti gave a speech to the business community, quoting the Greek philosopher Plato: “The price of not getting involved in politics is to be governed by the worst”.
By that month he was already a candidate for congress. Sagasti was victorious and won a seat in the current legislature.
In his role as spokesman for the purple party, he demanded two political reforms: the elimination of parliamentary immunity and preferential voting. The first is still pending a second vote in Congress and the second was not supported by the other parties.
Sagasti was also president of the Science and Technology Committee of the Legislative.
La Republica reports that the Attorney General, Zoraida Avalos, opened a preliminary investigation against the former de facto president, Manuel Merino de Lama, and his former ministers, Ántero Flores-Aráoz and Gastón Rodríguez Limo, for the alleged crimes of abuse of authority and intentional homicide of Jordan Inti Sotelo Camargo and Jack Bryan Pintado Sánchez.
Ávalos Rivera also indicated that the aforementioned will be investigated for alleged light and serious injuries, as well as forced disappearance of persons to be determined. All of this is in the context of human rights violations.
“In the last few days, we have been witnesses of regrettable events that have mourned, up to now, two Peruvian families and that keep others in distress, due to the lack of knowledge of the whereabouts of their relatives. In the face of this, the Attorney General’s Office expresses its resounding rejection. […] I can assure you that these deaths will not go unpunished,” he said through a statement broadcast on the social media.
The head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office also reported that the Specialized Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for Human Rights opened a preliminary investigation against those responsible for the alleged crime of forced disappearance, an investigation that will be carried out by searching the security cameras in the areas where the events took place during the citizen mobilization against the Merino de Lama regime.
“The prosecutor in charge of the cases of the disappeared has requested the geolocalization of each one of them, an arduous task that has led to locating the relatives to request information on the telephone numbers. We ask the National Police to apply the necessary protocols for the location of the missing persons,” he added.
This pronouncement by the Attorney General comes two days after the second national march, a mobilization in which two young people were killed and 63 others were injured. In addition, 74 people were reported missing, of which, so far, six have not been found.
SUNDAY (NOVEMBER 15)
In an address to the nation at noon today, President Manuel Merino de Lama announced that “I want to make it known that I present my irrevocable resignation to the office of the President of the Republic.”
Last Monday 105 members of Congress voted to remove President Vizcarra from office. These members voted against his removal:
-Alberto de Belaunde
-Miguel Ángel Gonzáles
-Rocío Silva Santisteban
No Party Affiliation
Apparently the 8:00 meeting this morning between representatives of the nine political parties represented in Congress started about an hour late, but is now underway.
Luis Váldez Farías (APP), the current President of Congress, leads the meeting. Last night he asked President Manuel Merino de Lama to evaluate his resignation and also indicated that a new board of directors of Congress should be elected to give way to the constitutional succession.
According to reports from America Noticias, President Manuel Merino summoned the commanders of the Armed Forces to the Government Palace this morning for a meeting. However, none of them have shown up.
The meeting was called with the commanders of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force for 07:45 a.m.
Diethell Columbus, spokesman for Fuerza Popular, arrived at Parliament. He indicated that they are responsible for vacating former President Martín Vizcarra due to serious questioning. However, “the consequences that have happened are the responsibility of the government, because they are the ones who have the function of watching over the internal order,” he said.
[NOTE: I don’t like to interject my thoughts, but the comments by Columbus above are amazing considering the new administration including the Cabinet had been in control for less than three days. He and his party apparently refuse to take responsibility for creating the situation in the first place.]
Former President Ollanta Humala has had some interesting comments this morning as Congressional leaders continue to meet this morning to seek a solution to the current crisis. (Of course, they created the current crisis.)
“What is needed from now on is a return to the constitutional course through the immediate resignation to the presidency of Congress [of Manuel Merino]. What sustains him as president of the Republic is his position as president of Congress.
“There has to be a political agreement in Congress. The ethical basis, the correctness, the common sense is that it has to be a member of the bench who did not commit the constitutional infraction.
“There is a political responsibility of all the benches that voted as a bench to have the votes to unconstitutionally vacate Vizcarra. They have been trying to wash their faces. The new Mesa Directiva has to be a political agreement and be presided over by the party that did not vote for the vacancy.”
More demonstrations against the Merino government have been called for beginning at 5 pm today. Obviously, this will depend on what else happens today. Hopefully it will turn into celebration rally.
The leader of the Nuevo Perú party, Veronika Mendoza, said in RPP that the “illegitimate” government of Manuel Merino “cannot continue for another day” and demanded his resignation after calling him a “dictator and murderer.”
Somos Peru parliamentarian Rennan Espinoza said that “many” are still “awaiting a decision” from Manuel Merino, in reference to the requests for the latter to resign from the Presidency of the Republic. “He cannot wait for a bureaucratic hour,” he said in RPP.
Ten vice-ministers and two high-ranking officials of the Ministry of the Environment (Minam) have reportedly resigned from their posts and expressed their strongest “rejection of the systematic coercion of legitimate protests.”
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported in a statement that 94 citizens were treated “for various types of injuries” produced during the demonstrations on Saturday. It also indicated that 63 of them are hospitalized.
In an interview with RPP Noticias published a little while ago, the president of the Council of Ministers, Ántero Flores-Aráoz, said that he has tried to communicate with President Manuel Merino without success, tonight. He said that he wants to talk to him to set up an emergency meeting with the ministers.
Regarding a possible resignation of the president, Flores-Aráoz said that he has “not the slightest idea”.
When he took the call from RPP News, the head of the Ministerial Cabinet only knew about the resignation of the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, Patricia Teullet.
Personally, he said that he did not plan to resign his position. “If the president goes, I go with him. I cannot leave the president alone,” he said.
Finally, he regretted the death of two young people during the second national march against the vacancy of Martin Vizcarra and the transitional government of Manuel Merino. “I express the solidarity of the Government. We regret this that has happened. We regret these acts of violence. We have tried by all means to avoid it,” he said.
2:38 am – After the confirmation of two Peruvians who died in the protests demanding the resignation of Manuel Merino, 13 of the 18 ministers who form part of the Cabinet presided over by Ántero Florez- Aráoz have presented their resignations.
These are the ministers who have so far confirmed their resignations according to RPP:
- Defense – Walter Chávez Cruz
- Interior – Gastón Rodríguez
- Justice and Human Rights – Delia Muñoz
- Health – Abel Salinas
- Agriculture and Irrigation – Fernando Hurtado Pascual
- Foreign Trade and Tourism – María Seminario
- Energy and Mines – Carlos Herrera Descalzi
- Housing, Construction and Sanitation – Hilda Sandoval Cornejo
- Education – Fernando D’Alessio
- Women and Vulnerable Populations – Patricia Teullet
- Development and Social Inclusion – Federico Tong
- Culture – María del Carmen de Reparaz
- Economy and Finance – José Arista
2:10 am – President Merino has reportedly just reappeared at a meeting with the remaining Ministers in the office of the Minister of the Interior. No word on what is happening or being discussed.
Mara Seminario joins the resignations from the Flores-Aráoz Cabinet, after the demonstrations this Saturday, which left two young people dead and several injured.
In her missive, Seminario stressed her “irrevocable” resignation to the position, which she assumed only on Thursday, November 12, under the leadership of Ántero Flores-Aráoz.
“When I assumed this position, I did so with total conviction that it was possible to work in favor of the country’s most vulnerable people and, at the same time, generate development from a strategic sector such as foreign trade and tourism,” he said.
She also said that her decision was due to the demands of the population and the death of the two young people who attended the second national march.
“My decision is motivated by recent events, which have led to the death of Peruvian brothers. The situation is worsening because I am a firm defender of human life and justice,” she said.
Finally, she said that her “presence in the cabinet is untenable”.
The Minister of Energy and Mines, Carlos Herrera Descalzi, presented his resignation due to the deaths caused by police violence during the social protests in Lima against President Manuel Merino. “It is not possible for me to continue in the position, since my principles and values formed throughout my professional career do not allow me to do so,” he said in a letter sent to the head of the Cabinet, Ántero Flores-Aráoz.
Congressman Rennán Espinoza announced that Manuel Merino has already accepted to resign from the Presidency of the Republic and that he will soon communicate his decision.
“A person who works with Manuel Merino informed me that given the number of deaths and the pressure he decided to step aside,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Espinoza said that the citizens achieved their goal of being able to demonstrate “against this political position that is nothing more than a vendetta. Luis Valdez has to immediately convene the Board of Spokespersons and propose a new Board of Directors to find a quick way out,” he said.
RPP Noticias is reporting at about 2 am that a group of protesters has now formed outside the Congress building in Lima. They also just added that police threw tear gas at the protesters and they have apparently dispersed.
They had previously been prevented from going there by the police so if they are indeed there now, this might be a major development.
The FREPAP party, which voted unanimously for the removal of President Vizcarra just a few days ago relased this statement about half an hour ago:
“We regret the sensitive death of two young people who participated in the second national march, exercising their right to peaceful protest.
“Mr. Merino and the head of the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior must be held accountable for these deaths. We demand their resignation and that of the Board of Directors immediately.
“Likewise, we demand all corresponding investigations into the repression by the Peruvian National Police. We need a government of consensus, Peru cannot wait.”
The Jorge Chavez Airport just announced on their Facebook page that the airport in Lima is now closed with this announcement:
“For the tranquility of all citizens we inform you that Jorge Chavez International Airport is closed and no flights are made at this time. The Attorney General’s Office is already on its way to review and be aware of any situation that may arise.”
[Note: there are reports that President Merino is possibly trying to flee the country which likely accounts for the closing of the airport.]
Andina News is reporting that La Junta de Portavoces (“Board of Spokespersons”) of Peru’s political parties will meet this morning at 8:00 a.m. to evaluate a way out of the current political crisis, which includes the request for the resignation of the head of state, Manuel Merino de Lama, informed the president in charge of the Congress, Luis Valdez.
“Faced with this unsustainable fact I am calling a Board of Spokespersons for tomorrow, because we have to evaluate not only Merino’s resignation, but the constitutional way to solve this political crisis,” he said.
Valdez said that this situation cannot wait any longer in the face of the citizens’ demonstrations that today took the lives of two young people.
“I ask Merino to evaluate these facts and his immediate resignation,” he said.
He indicated that he will propose to the Board of Spokespersons the election of a new board of directors to give way to a constitutional solution to end this crisis.
SATURDAY (NOVEMBER 14)
The previous administration under former President Vizcarra had actively pushed an anti-corruption agenda, but was removed and replaced by Congress with a large number of members facing investigations for accusations of corruption by an administration with multiple accusations of corruption.
Now it appears that the administration is actively trying to silence those investigations and control the government’s attorney general’s office as well as silence media reporting. Many Ministers in the current administration are actively working to delegitimize the current protests of thousands of Peruvians across the country with gross disinformation.
The accusations of inappropriate repressive tactics used by police against peaceful protesters under the new Minister of the Interior are quite disturbing. These accusations include the use of a special police group, the Terna Group, infiltrating protesters in plain clothes and making arrests.
These accusations have been denied by Minister Gastón Rodríguez.
The Constitutional Court (TC) has scheduled a hearing for November 18 to hear the parties and make a decision regarding the Congress’ impeachment of President Vizcarra.
Congress has responded to the lawsuit by asking for a declaration of the subtraction of the matter, since the request for a vacancy that motivated the Executive’s lawsuit was not approved.
The de facto regime of Manuel Merino and his Minister of Justice want to reinforce the position of the Congress, so that the TC does not pronounce on the legality and constitutionality of the vacancy due to permanent moral incapacity, because of a preliminary investigation of alleged illegal acts.
“The regime is weakened by the reaction of the citizenry. If the Constitutional Court pronounces in a restrictive sense of the causes of the presidential vacancy, that is to say that the process against Vizcarra was not legal, the regime will be weakened even more, it will become untenable”, indicates ex-prosecutor José Ugaz.
He notes that there are even those who consider that the Constitutional Court could issue a sentence that could be extended to the process that concluded with the vacancy of President Martin Vizcarra.
Therefore, to ensure that the TC does not pronounce itself, they intend that the hearing on November 18 will not be attended by the attorney specialized in constitutional matters, Luis Huerta, but by another lawyer close to the government. For this purpose, they would have mentioned the expropriation lawyer Katherine Ampuero.
Daniel Soria refused to interfere with Huerta’s work and was then asked to resign, which he also refused to do. Legislative Decree 1326 gave him autonomy and permanence in the position for up to five years, except for serious misconduct and after an administrative disciplinary process.
However, according to various sources between prosecutors and the Ministry of Justice, the objective of the de facto regime goes beyond the demand for competition, seeking total control of all prosecutors’ offices.
This also explains, says Ugaz, why the first thing Delia Muñoz does is to call the attorney general’s office and mention the expropriation office.
Katherine Ampuero has denied that she will accept the post of attorney general because it would affect her autonomy.
However, for Ugaz, the mere fact that her name has been mentioned indicates the intentions. It is well known that Ampuero is critical of Odebrecht’s effective collaboration agreements and, in general, of any agreement.
Therefore, it is pointed out that the great objective of the regime is the prosecutors’ offices, mainly the specialized ones, such as the ones that see the Lava Jato case, the one of Money Laundering and the ones specialized in corruption cases, which are in charge of the investigations of the “White Collars of the Port” and the “Gangsters of Politics”, among others.
Cases in which the congressmen who plotted and voted for the vacancy of President Martin Vizcarra and took over the government have an interest.
Legislative Decree 1326 gives the State Attorney General’s Office the possibility to change and appoint the attorneys and supervise their work, i.e. to have access to sensitive information.
In an interview on Channel N, Delia Muñoz spoke about evaluating the work of the ad hoc prosecutor in the Lava Jato case, Silvana Carrión. The Minister of Justice cannot do that. The evaluation can only be done by the State Attorney General’s Office.
A second aspect is that a change in strategy by the prosecutors’ offices in the face of effective collaboration agreements, not only in the Lava Jato case, will affect the investigations of the Public Ministry.
If the prosecutors begin to reject collaboration, they will have problems moving forward. They could not prevent the agreements, but they would complicate everything.
The other aspect is access to sensitive information that the prosecutors have, which could now be within the reach of the de facto regime and the congressmen who support it.
Through a communiqué, the parliamentary bench of the Alliance for Progress (APP) informed that in the interest of governance and stability of the country it has decided to withdraw its only representative, Congresswoman Tania Rodas Malca, from the Special Commission for the Election of Judges of the Constitutional Court (TC).
They pointed out that in this way APP will not have any type of representation in said commission.
“We exhort the other benches to follow the example of APP and in this way achieve to leave without effect the current Special Commission for the Election of Judges of the Constitutional Court (TC) and allow that the next Congress be the one in charge of the election of the new judges of the TC”, adds in the document the parliamentary group of Alliance for Progress.
La Republica reports that the State Attorney General, Daniel Soria, revealed last night that the new Minister of Justice, Delia Muñoz, asked for his resignation and that his possible replacement in the position would be attorney Katherine Ampuero.
However, this same night Minister Delia indicated that Soria, is “altering” some concepts and preferred not to comment on the meeting where he would have asked for his resignation.
In a dialogue with Canal N, she pointed out that it was a “conversation of a private nature” where two officials were discussing a “certain position”.
“It was a conversation of a private nature between two public officials who were discussing a certain position,” said the Minister.
Soria recalled that although he was appointed by the now ex-president Martín Vizcarra, his position is for five years and he can only be removed from it for serious misconduct.
“We have worked hard to continue implementing the Attorney General’s Office administratively, but I was summoned today to Minister Delia Muñoz’s office, where I was asked to resign,” she said in a dialogue with RPP Noticias.
“They, I understand, have a person who could eventually replace me. I was told that it was attorney Katherine Ampuero. Regardless of the people, we are talking about an issue of empowerment here,” she added.
He indicated that Muñoz explained that he wants to carry out a new procedural strategy in the case of the competence process before the Constitutional Court (TC) about the presidential vacancy that will be seen on Wednesday, November 18.
“According to the new strategy, the idea is that a new attorney general will directly attend this process. The issue is the following: autonomy establishes a procurator who is the one entrusted with these interventions. In this case, it is Dr. Luis Huerta Guerrero, a specialized attorney in constitutional matters, who had already appeared in this process and in principle was the person who had to appear this Wednesday,” he said.
He indicated that after the meeting with the new Minister of Justice, he held a virtual meeting with the two members of the Directive Council of the State Attorney General’s Office to analyze Muñoz’s request.
“After a remote deliberation, we have decided not to resign our positions, neither I nor the two members of the Directive Council because we believe that this system guarantees autonomy and this must be preserved,” he said.
RPP Noticias reports that Legislator Guillermo Aliaga (Somos Perú), second vice-president of the Legislative Power, asked the Justice and Human Rights Commission of Congress to summon the Minister of the Interior, Gastón Rodríguez, to an extraordinary session to explain the actions taken by the National Police during the National March.
After sending a letter to the head of this working group, Leslye Lazo (Acción Popular), the congressman announced that he had received a response from the legislator. Through its social networks, Aliaga announced that the head of the Ministry of the Interior will attend the Congress this November 16th.
“I am grateful for the attention of Congresswoman Leslye Lazo to my request. I have been informed that the Minister of the Interior will be summoned on Monday at 10 a.m. in an extraordinary session,” she wrote in her Twitter account.
At the meeting, however, the Somos Peru legislator also requested the presence of the director general of the police.
For Aliaga, both authorities must explain “the actions taken during the days of the nationwide citizen protests, as well as the measures they will implement in future demonstrations.
According to a communiqué from the National Police of Peru (PNP), 16 demonstrators were injured in the demonstrations the day before, and were taken to various hospitals in Lima.
In this regard, the institution assured that it had ordered the General Inspectorate of the Police to investigate the causes of these cases.
The PNP denied in the aforementioned statement that agents of the Terna Group had been employed to infiltrate the demonstrations.
The Minister of the Interior, Gaston Rodriguez, assured on Friday night that the alleged three-man team captured in images shooting in the air in the middle of the march against the government of Manuel Merino last Thursday, was in fact “a police officer in a situation of frankness.
In an interview with journalist Milagros Leiva, Rodriguez said that the young man who shot “is a police officer in a situation of frankness that belongs to the Mounted Police Unit.
Likewise, he affirmed that “he has been fully identified and has been made to stand upright”. At the insistence of the journalist, she continued to rule out that it is a three-way street.
“He said he felt a situation of threat and that, when he turns around, he sees a mob of people approaching, that is why he said to act in this way. This should be investigated,” said the minister.
It is worth mentioning that Jorge Lam, deputy commander general of the NPP, acknowledged that on the first day of the demonstrations “Terna personnel were used” to make arrests of people previously detected. However, he maintained that in yesterday’s protest not a single agent from this division left.
The incident was recorded on video, which shows how the man wearing a black t-shirt, jeans and white shoes was insulted by the protesters who accused him of being part of that police team.
FRIDAY (NOVEMBER 13)
I just published a detailed biography of the new Cabinet sworn in yesterday at Peru’s New Cabinet Sworn In.
WEDNESDAY (NOVEMBER 11)
Antero Flores-Araoz was sworn in as Prime Minister of Peru, but no other cabinet positions have been fulfilled.
The 78-year-old lawyer and politician began his political career in the 1990s when he was elected as member of Parliament for Lima with Fredemo —the electoral alliance formed by Accion Popular (AP), Partido Popular Cristiano (PPC), and Movimiento Libertad parties.
His parliamentary position was interrupted in 1992 by the dissolution of Congress carried out by then-President Alberto Fujimori.
A year later, Flores-Araoz was elected as constituent parliamentarian with PPC to join the Democratic Constituent Congress (CCD), which drafted the 1993 Constitution.
Since then, he has been a member of Parliament for several periods until 2006 and served as Congress Chairman in the 2004-2005 period.
Between 2007 and 2009, he served as Minister of Defense under President Alan García.
Uruguay, Paraguay and Colombia issued official statements from their respective press offices regarding the events of Monday night.
“The government of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is confident that the political process will continue through the institutional channels of the rule of law and the democratic regime, for the benefit of Peru and all Peruvians,” said a statement issued from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Montevido on Wednesday.
Colombia did not mention Manuel Merino, but highlighted the relationship between that country and Peru when Martin Vizcarra was President of the Republic.
“The Colombian Government is respectful of the constitutional order and the institutional processes in force in Latin American and Caribbean countries where democratic order and the rule of law prevail. (…) During the Presidency of Martín Vizcarra, Colombia and Peru advanced significantly in the deepening of their commercial, political and diplomatic relations,” they state in a communiqué.
The Colombian government also highlighted the “leadership” of former President Vizcarra Cornejo and mentioned his “unwavering commitment to the defense of democratic principles and values in the hemisphere.
“Colombia will continue to work hand in hand with the countries of the region in the defense of democracy, human rights and legality, and is confident that the process currently underway in the sister Republic of Peru will continue to be conducted through the institutional channels provided for in its Political Constitution,” it reads.
The Government of the Republic of Paraguay expressed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs its “wishes of success” to Manuel Merino de Lama, for the conclusion of the presidential mandate 2016 – 2021.
“As a brother country of Peru, with which it shares a close bilateral and regional relationship, Paraguay encourages the Peruvian nation to continue on the path of respect for democracy and the rule of law,” the statement read.
Finally, the Government of Chile said that “The government of Chile wishes the new President of the Republic of Peru a good performance in his administration, for the benefit of all Peruvians, and hopes that the political process will continue its course through the institutional channels of the rule of law and democratic regime.”
The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) expressed this Wednesday its “deep concern” about “the new political crisis in Peru”, following the presidential vacancy, five months before the general elections.
The organization stressed that it is up to the Constitutional Court (TC) “to rule on the legality and legitimacy of the institutional decisions adopted, as well as on the differences that may exist in the interpretation of the Constitution.
As it is recalled, a competence demand presented by Martin Vizcarra’s administration is pending to be resolved so that the TC may determine how the cause of presidential vacancy due to moral incapacity, presented by the Congress, should be interpreted.
The OAS also indicated that, in this complex situation, political actors are responsible for ensuring the democratic functioning and guaranteeing the holding of national elections called for April 11, 2021.
“The holding of these elections constitutes an essential step to ensure a new stage in the democratic institutional life of Peru,” they point out. In line with this purpose, the international organization ensures the presence of an Electoral Observation Mission.
It is the political responsibility of the General Secretariat of the OAS, they add, “to watch over the exercise of representative democracy as the basis of the rule of law and constitutional regimes.
Former Congressman and Minister Ántero Flores Aráoz confirmed that he has accepted the task of assuming the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. “I have accepted the charge of the president,” he said in RPP and indicated said that the swearing-in ceremony will be at 12:30.
RPP Noticias this morning published a series of photos showing some of the damage from yesterday’s protests in Lima: Así lucen las calles del Centro de Lima tras las protestas contra la vacancia presidencial [FOTOS]
The leader of Nuevo Perú, Verónika Mendoza, denounced the “harsh and absurd repression” by the police against the citizens who participated in the protest marches in rejection of the dismissal of Martín Vizcarra.
RPP reported that Mendoza, attacked Congress for having “consummated” on the eve of the vacancy motion against President Martín Vizcarra “in a cynical manner” and “turning its back on the citizens.
In an interview with RPP, she labeled the government of Manuel Merino, who took office today as President of the Republic, as “illegitimate,” while lamenting and denouncing the “harsh and absurd repression” by the police against citizens during the protest marches in rejection of Vizcarra’s removal from office.
“It is an illegitimate government that is not validated and supported by the will of the people, precisely because, instead of waiting for the sovereign people to democratically elect their rulers in the April elections, they have resorted to legalities to take power,” the presidential pre-candidate questioned.
Veronika Mendoza asked citizens and democratic forces to “be vigilant” to prevent Merino’s government and Parliament from electing the magistrates of the Constitutional Tribunal (TC) or from “manipulating the Public Ministry and the Judicial Power” to shield legislators who are being prosecuted for alleged corruption.
She also said that Congress should not modify the University Law, since, if that happens, César Acuña Peralta and José Luna Gálvez, both owners of private universities, would be the beneficiaries by giving them carte blanche to continue “feasting on education”.
The presidential pre-candidate of the Nationalist Party, Ollanta Humala, pointed out that Manuel Merino is a “legal president, but through a coup d’état.
“But what he cannot do is touch the Constitutional Court, the Sunedu and the general budget of the Republic,” said the ex-mandatory, who participated in the protests called in the center of Lima in rejection of the vacancy of Martin Vizcarra.
The political leader maintained that Merino has to guarantee that the electoral process, called for April next year, “will be done anyway”.
Ollanta Humala pointed out that similar social mobilizations take place in other parts of the world when political events such as those the country is experiencing occur. “With our masks we have to go out and show the interim government that we don’t agree with what they have done,” he added.
Constitutionalist Omar Cairo said that President Manuel Merino should have already appointed ministers because they bear the political responsibility for presidential acts. In other words, the head of state cannot be removed from office for an act performed.
“As there is no minister now, everything that has happened this afternoon and night, that has beaten up demonstrators and beaten up journalists, would be the political responsibility of the Minister of the Interior, but as there is no minister it is the responsibility of the ruler who is Merino,” he said.
Omar Cairo clarified that the ministers of the vacated President Martin Vizcarra cannot be held responsible because their resignations have already been accepted. “Once the President is sworn in, the minister who is going to be sworn in at the Palace already has everything transferred,” he added.
“Here what has happened is a change of Head of Government, it is different when during the same government the ministers change. It is different when during the same government the ministers change. In the case of a change of ministers due to a presidential change, this does not happen,” he said.
In addition, Omar Cairo insisted that the current situation is “adrift” and the only person responsible for this abandonment and the consequences is the ruler Manuel Merino.
“We are in a working day, the police are working and hospitals are working, but they are working by inertia. It doesn’t stop, but it’s like being in a car, but the driver has thrown himself out of the vehicle. The car is still running, but by inertia. If Merino doesn’t name it until Friday, it can derail,” he said.
The constitutionalist Luciano López assured that Manuel Merino falls into constitutional omission for not conforming in the shortest time possible a president of the Council of Ministers and a ministerial cabinet after being sworn in as President of the Republic.
“In the circumstances in which he has taken the charge of the Presidency of the Republic, he is obliged to immediately elect his premier and with the premier, as mandated by the Constitution, he has to elect and form his ministerial cabinet. There is a responsibility by omission that he would be incurring in,” he said.
Regarding the protests in regions and streets of Lima due to the presidential vacancy, Luciano Lopez explained that at this moment the vice-ministers are still in office after the ministers of the vacated president Martin Vizcarra resigned.
“If we had to talk about some kind of legal responsibility we would have to talk concretely about the General Director of the Police, who is in charge of the operational part and from the political-legal point of view we could talk concretely about the Vice-Minister in charge of this internal sector”, he explained.
Luciano López also pointed out that there is no time limit for Manuel Merino to conform a new ministerial cabinet.
“Today I can say that it is a responsibility by constitutional omission that the President in these circumstances does not quickly choose a prime minister and with him a cabinet in order to try to give him predictability and try to recover the confidence of the citizens,” he said.
TUESDAY (NOVEMBER 10)
This afternoon (Tuesday) RPP Noticias had a great piece on the immediate economic effects of the Presidential vacancy noting that the dollar rose to S/3.62, its highest level in 18 years, affecting those who have debts corresponding to the dollar.
Economist Alfredo Thorne explained “Always the first sign of strong uncertainty is when the markets begin to worry about what the next government is going to do (…) Today the exchange rate has moved to the highest levels we have had. The next minister of economy with the president of the Central Bank should give a message of tranquility to our investors,” said the former minister of economy.
Reuters agency reported that the prices of Peruvian government bonds collapsed after the vacancy against Vizcarra.
Economist Enrique Diaz explained that “It is a sign of distrust and uncertainty. If the doubts are not cleared up, if there is no confidence in how they are going to manage this transition, the markets are going to turn against Peru. It means that the interest rates on any debt are going to rise, for the government and any private organization,” he points out.
Meanwhile, the Lima Stock Exchange also fell more than 5% in the midst of the political crisis, which generated more than 40 companies to register losses during the day, with financial companies being the most affected.
The ex-Minister of Economy, David Tuesta explained that “There are calls from investors regarding wanting to sell the positions they have in Peruvian assets. In any part of the world today it is complicated to attract capital and even more so in an electoral scenario. What should be considered is that the Cabinet that is there does not drive them away anymore. It is important that they go to the Ministry of Economy.”
RRP Noticias reported about 2 pm that the Peruvian Stock Exchange (BVL) has suffered a major collapse, losing 5.78% of its value in the wake of Vizcarra’s vacancy and the subsequent inauguration of Manuel Merino as the new President.
Protests against the vacancy of Martin Vizcarra by Congress are reported all over the country today led by large rallies in Lima in which police have been reportedly using tear gas to disperse crowds which had gathered at Plaza San Martin and tried to move to the Congress building.
George Forsyth, mayor of La Victoria and the early favorite in the Presidential election on April 11. While critical of Congress’ actions, he reminded people that “This is not the time to take to the streets, we are going to have our revenge in the elections.”
The President of Congress, Manuel Merino de Lama, resigned from his position in Congress and, according to the procedures put forth in the Constitution, was sworn in as the new President of Peru this morning.
Merino affirmed the intention to hold April elections and conduct the normal transfer of power in July to the newly elected President.
RPP Noticias reported this morning that “the prices of the Peruvian government’s dollar-denominated bonds plummeted” in the wake of the vacancy of former President Vizcarra.
The entire cabinet of Prime Minister Walter Martos resigned en masse this morning. Many leaders expressed serious concerns about who will be appointed to the new cabinet by a new President with little more than a high school education.
The previous cabinet was generally highly respected both in Peru and around the world for the job they had done facing the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.