Peru Arrests Generals Amid Castillo Probe

On Monday, the anti-corruption unit of Peru's attorney general's office detained six generals who are being investigated on claims that they took part in a pay-for-promotion scheme in 2021 allegedly with the consent of ousted former Pres. Pedro Castillo.

Peru Arrests Generals Amid Castillo Probe
Image credit: Reuters [via VOA News]

Facts

  • On Monday, the anti-corruption unit of Peru's attorney general's office detained six generals who are being investigated on claims that they took part in a pay-for-promotion scheme in 2021 allegedly with the consent of ousted former Pres. Pedro Castillo.
  • This comes a month after former army general José Vizcarra and former air force commander Jorge Chaparro claimed that Castillo's government had previously pressured them to promote officers who didn't qualify.
  • Three of those detained in the reportedly "mega-operation" are active police generals who have been accused of having approved promotions in exchange for money.
  • Police also confiscated documents and devices during a raid of the home of Walter Ayala — Castillo’s former Defense Minister, who has denied any corruption allegations — as part of 25 nationwide raids.
  • Castillo, arrested earlier this month after being voted out of office for attempting to dissolve Congress and serving a 48-month pretrial detention, faces six separate counts of corruption, including for influence peddling – all of which he has denied.
  • Since he was ousted and detained on Dec. 7, protests have been raging across Peru, forcing main infrastructures to be shut down and reportedly claiming the lives of more than 20 people as demonstrators reject the new government formed by Dina Boluarte.

Sources: Reuters, DW, Al Jazeera, Euro News, and Voa.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Washington Post. The fact that Peru has already had six presidents since 2016 speaks volumes about the country's political situation and underscores what a difficult legacy Boluarte is taking on. It's a positive sign that the coup attempt by the ultra-leftist and corrupt Castillo failed thanks to the resilience of Peruvians. If Boluarte now succeeds in forming a strong government and implementing structural reforms, there's good reason for optimism for Peruvian democracy.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by FP. The ongoing protests highlight that the justified ouster of the unpopular Castillo is by no means the end of the ongoing political crisis in Peru. Poor Peruvians have legitimate doubts that the dysfunctional democratic system will change anything about their desperate situation. That's why snap elections would likely benefit populist candidates. It's uncertain whether Boluarte will manage to keep Peru from becoming ungovernable.

Predictions