November 18, 2020


Crisis in Peru: Turmoil is rocking the South American nation of Peru, as interim president Manuel Merino handed in his resignation on Sunday– after just serving for five days. He had taken over after the impeachment of ex-President Martin Vizcarra, but he stepped down after almost a week of riots and protests. Let’s take a closer look at this quagmire.

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The Crisis in Peru

In Peru, recent news in politics shows us that Vizcarra had been impeached on the basis of corruption allegations. At that point, Merino, who had been the President of Congress, was appointed interim president of the nation. Vizcarra has denied the corruption allegations, and his impeachment led to protests starting on Monday and going for six straight nights. On Saturday night, at least two people died and 94 were injured in the mayhem.

The public prosecutor has started an investigation into the two deaths. The national Office of Ombudsman has called for a moratorium on the use of rubber bullets and tear gas against the protesters. According to the protesters, Vizcarra’s impeachment is nothing more than a legislative rebellion, which is why they have not recognized Merino’s legitimacy as the new president. The mayor of Lima (the nation’s capital), Jorge Munoz, Nobel Prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa (also a former presidential candidate and an influential figure in the nation), and the Peruvian National Assembly of Regional Governors had all called on Merino to resign.

Merino’s swift rise and fall mark the third untimely end to a presidential term in fewer than five years. In office, Vizcarra had become president after his predecessor, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, had resigned in a storm of corruption allegations, in the face of impeachment. Vizcarra had been Kuczynski’s vice president.

In his last address to the nation on Sunday, Merino noted that the entire Cabinet had submitted resignation offers, but he would not accept them until the situation was resolved, so that there would be some leadership in the nation. Congress has called for a special session on Sunday to name the next president. The next round of elections are not scheduled until April 2021.

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