Peru: The former president of the country, Pedro Castillo, is asking for his release

by
Peru: The former president of the country, Pedro Castillo, is asking for his release

“I ask for the hatred to stop and I ask for my freedom, which is my right. I never committed the crime of standing,” the 53-year-old former president said during the hearing after his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, who was suspended, arrested and jailed on Dec. 7 on charges of “stance” and “conspiracy,” pleaded Wednesday to be released and denied committing the crimes he is accused of that day when his opponents accused him of trying to impose a “coup d’état”.

“I ask for the hatred to stop and I ask for my freedom, which is my right. I never committed the crime of standing,” the 53-year-old former president, speaking via video link, said during the hearing following his appeal to the Supreme Court.

The defense is seeking to overturn the 18-month pretrial detention imposed on the former president, who is serving it at a police base in Lima.

An independent authority that visited the former head of state in prison announced last Thursday that his detention conditions met legal requirements and that Mr. Castillo was not suffering from “physical complications.”

The former teacher and trade unionist from the province, who was elected with a party of the radical left in 2021, called his imprisonment “unjust”, which he sees as “political revenge” of his opponents. The only thing his pre-trial detention has achieved is to “polarize our country”, he judged.

Mr. Castillo was arrested after he tried to dissolve Congress and announced he would rule by decree — his orders were not carried out by security forces. The parliament, which saw an attempted “coup”, suspended him a few hours later, in the third such procedure since the beginning of his term, for “moral unfitness”. Until December 7, his vice-president, Dina Boluarte, was sworn in as the new president on the same day.

Mr. Castillo ruled for less than a year and a half, a period marked by deep political crisis.

His suspension and arrest sparked mass protests and bloody riots, with the new government imposing a state of emergency and bringing the army into the streets. Officially, authorities say 22 dead; protesters, non-governmental organizations and other sources say more than 30 dead, many from bullets, and hundreds injured.

To de-escalate the crisis, the right-wing Congress has agreed to rush elections, which will be held early in April 2024 instead of 2026.

Mr. Castillo’s appeal remains before the Supreme Court.

RES-EMP

You May Also Like

Recommended for you

Immediate Peak