Ayacucho (Pérou) (AFP)
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo on Thursday appointed a prime minister within his Marxist-Leninist Free Peru party, Guido Bellido, 41, who became lawmaker six days ago and has never held public office.
Inaugurated in Lima itself on Wednesday, Castillo presided over Bellido’s swearing-in at the Pampa de la Quinua, site of the 1824 battle that ended Spanish rule of Peru and South America as a whole .
Bellido, an electronics engineer, vowed that he would represent the interests of all Peruvians and advance “the fight against corruption”.
He is one of 37 Peru Libre legislators elected to the 130-member Congress in April. Under Peruvian law, parliamentarians can also hold government positions.
Like the president, Bellido is of rural and peasant origin. Both wear traditional white sombreros – although Bellido is from his hometown of Cusco and Castillo, 51, from Cajamarca.
Peruvian media said Bellido had been investigated by prosecutors for alleged “terrorism apologies” following statements made after taking his parliamentary seat last Friday – which secured him immunity from lawsuits.
In statements to online media Inka Vision, he appeared to defend those who supported the Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path which fought the state from 1980 to 2000 and is labeled a “terrorist” organization by Lima.
“The country was a disaster, there were Peruvians who took a path by mistake, are they Peruvians or not? He said, adding, “What do you have against the senderistas?”
Senderistas is the name of the followers of the Shining Path, to which some detractors have sought to link Castillo, although he insisted that he fought against the movement as a “rondero” or a member of a patrol. peasant.
The other 18 members of the Castillo cabinet will be announced Thursday evening, the presidency said.
Rural school teacher and trade unionist Castillo took office on Wednesday promising an end to corruption and a new constitution. He pledged to overthrow a quarter of a century of neoliberal government and create a better life for struggling Peruvians.
He was declared the election winner on July 19, more than six weeks after a run-off against right-wing free-market defender Keiko Fujimori, whose allegations of electoral fraud then had to be examined by an electoral jury.
Fujimori, who faces a corruption trial for allegedly accepting illegal funding for two previous presidential campaigns, said his Popular Force party would be a “firm wall against the latent threat of a new communist constitution” under Castillo .
© 2021 AFP