The siege of Peru’s president has not ended: the subcommittee on constitutional impeachment of Congress approved a report this Friday calling for Pedro Castillo to be disqualified for five years and charged with the crime of “treason against the fatherland”. He announced that his country could facilitate access to the sea for Bolivia.
After a subcommittee session chaired by opposition legislator Lady Cammons, the decision was 11 votes in favor and 10 against. The document will be sent to the Standing Committee, which will study it in the coming days before deciding whether to approve a final debate and vote. Peru’s president responded by saying, “This initiative does not scare us… We are here for the country, because before everything else, there is the citizen. He added that he hoped Congress would “look and act with the Peruvian people” when making decisions on the matter.
Castillo noted that he was “transmitting” the announcement of the actions against him to the people and “being a personal witness to what people are doing in these synchronic moments.”
The statement was supported by congressman Diego Pais of the opposition party Avanza Pais, who told the CNN network last January that Castillo had declared “Bolivia’s right to access the sea” and that he would ask for public opinion. A move that, according to Bhazan, “puts the integrity of the nation in serious jeopardy”. Recalling that according to Article 118 of the Peruvian Constitution, the president’s function is to direct foreign policy, for which he considered it affected national sovereignty, the protester said Castillo’s statements were “reprehensible”.
Castillo admitted to CNN last January that he had said “the sea for Bolivia” during a 2018 conference of Latin American professors in La Paz, when he was not even considering a presidential candidate. “I’m not saying I’m going to give the sea to Bolivia. If Peru agrees, I owe it to the people. I’ll never do things the people don’t like,” he noted.
Bolivia lost access to the Pacific Ocean during the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), and in 2013 it sued Chile at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to negotiate a maritime outlet, but the court rejected its petition. Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) already in 1992 handed over to Bolivia a 5-kilometer area called Bolivia Mar, in the southern port of Iloilo, which was deepened in 2010 by Alan García (2006-2011) for whom 99 years of non-sovereign sea area to the neighboring country.
Now, both Castillo’s lawyers and his spokesmen and the ruling Congress confirm that the President has not taken any action to implement his opinion, for which they believe the impeachment must be dismissed by Congress.
The Minister of Labor, Alejandro Salas, announced that Castillo would address the issue to a meeting hosted by the Organization of American States (OAS) with a mission to the country, following an invitation to the Inter-American Democratic Party. The Charter will be used to consider that “a new type of coup d’état has begun” in Peru.
He lives in Argentina and Germany and says of his neighbors’ unusual demands: “an immigrant’s worst nightmare.”
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