"Peru is in flames. Since early December, massive, often violent, protests have
engulfed the South American nation. Demonstrators concentrated in the country’s
southern Andean regions took to the streets after the then president, Pedro
Castillo, was deposed for attempting to mount a coup by dismissing the
parliament and ruling by decree.
But he attempted his coup without the support of the armed forces and was
rapidly arrested. The appointment of his vice-president, Dina Boluarte, as the
new leader sparked riots that have resulted in the deaths of at least 55
Despite leading a mediocre government swamped with accusations of corruption,
the fact that Castillo – an indigenous former schoolteacher from an Andean
region – was elected at all had significant symbolic value in a country where
indigenous people feel excluded. After decades of economic crisis, liberal
reforms enacted in the 1990s stabilised the country’s economy, reduced poverty
and kept GDP growing.
But these numbers have not been enough to facilitate upward social mobility.
Peruvians who cannot afford to go private for their basic needs (healthcare,
security, education and housing) are on their own, left to battle underfunded,
corrupt and low-quality public services.
Despite his many shortcomings, polling suggested that many voters thought
Castillo represented change. They felt that someone who really knows how hard
life is for indigenous Peruvians would finally sit in the presidential palace.
So his removal from office, however justified, was the last straw, driving
people into the streets in protest."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics