Aníbal Torres: Castillo appoints a lawyer who fought Keiko Fujimori’s accusations of fraud as prime minister | International


The President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, greets Aníbal Torres, the new Prime Minister, this February 8.
The President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, greets Aníbal Torres, the new Prime Minister, this February 8.Martin Mejia (AP)

On Tuesday, Pedro Castillo appointed Aníbal Torres as prime minister, the lawyer who directed the strategy after the elections with which the rural teacher refuted the accusations of electoral fraud launched by his rival, Keiko Fujimori. Until now he was Minister of Justice. He is the fourth prime minister in 194 days in office, a record in Peruvian democracy. Faced with the large law firms that prepared the resources for Fujimori, the president of Peru then had jurists such as Torres, a former dean of Law with a solid background and a marked interest in social justice. After the erratic appointment of the previous one in the position, an official accused of gender violence, the appointment of Torres has a certain political logic and seems to keep a strategic one behind.

The previous Cabinet, under the command of Héctor Valer, had been formed by concessions to small groups of power in Congress. The invention did not work. Castillo sought to avoid maneuvering in the House to impeach him, the fatal fate of two other presidents in the last five years. Torres’s appointment is consistent with the trajectory of the rural teacher from the mountains, who came almost out of nowhere a year ago to win the elections.

The previous attempt to give consistency to a drifting government did not work, it was a fiasco. On Wednesday, a day after his swearing-in, the press revealed that Valer assaulted his wife and daughter in 2016 and that a judge granted the spouse protection measures in 2017. The official denied it and added fuel to the scandal and rejection . On Friday, Castillo announced in a message to the nation the recomposition of the Cabinet, however, he did not say a word about the condition of Valer’s aggressor, who has 15 other fiscal investigations for other crimes. He also did not make a mea culpa for having, again, chosen badly for a high position.

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In an interview with the weekly Hildebrandt in his thirteen, Castillo acknowledged that he had made a mistake by appointing the Free Peru congressman Guido Bellido as his first president of the council of ministers at the beginning of the government. The president had to force the resignation of said official, who was replaced at the beginning of October by the lawyer and human rights defender Mirtha Vásquez. She left, accusing Castillo of being permissive with state corruption, and her attempt to replace her was Valer’s unsuccessful maneuver.

The president tries to redirect the crisis with this blow of effect. Torres has been Castillo’s confidant since June of last year, when Fujimori asked to cancel thousands of votes in polling stations where the rural teacher and union leader had won. The conservative candidate counted on the elite of the Peruvian legal profession to prepare hundreds of challenges, arguing that the intervenors had been supplanted, or their signatures had been forged. The new premier today was one of the three lawyers who litigated to defend the votes. The Prosecutor’s Office in the last month has filed almost all the complaints raised by Fujimorism, the electoral court has reported, demolishing the version that the opposition leader still maintains that there was fraud.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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