The Organization of American States (OAS) decided this Thursday to send “a high-level group” to Peru after leftist President Pedro Castillo, under investigation for corruption, asked him for help in overcoming the political crisis.
In an extraordinary session in Washington, the Permanent Council, the organization’s executive body, adopted by acclamation the resolution “supporting the preservation of democratic institutions” in Peru and called on “all actors” to act within “the state of law”.
(Also read: Peru: why does the prosecution accuse Pedro Castillo of leading a criminal network?)
The OAS appointed “a high-level group made up of representatives of the member states, in accordance with the Inter-American Democratic Charter, to carry out a visit to Peru in order to analyze the situation” and then report on it to the Advice.
The Peruvian president, Pedro Castillo, had asked the Organization of American States on Wednesday to take “urgent measures” to open “a dialogue between the various powers of the State” to resolve the political crisis that the country is experiencing and avoid “the configuration of a new type of coup d’état”.
“To request you, Mr. Secretary General (Luis Almagro), to order the emergency measures that allow opening a dialogue between the various powers of the State to resolve the political crisis that affects Peruvian democracy, while avoiding the configuration of a new type of coup d’état,” reads the letter sent to the OAS and published by several media outlets.
(You can read: Peru: Congress begins to analyze constitutional complaint against Pedro Castillo)
Castillo called for activating articles 17 and 18 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, an instrument approved in 2001 to promote democratic principles among the states of the region.
Article 17 contemplates that a country can “request assistance for the strengthening and preservation of its democratic institutions” if it considers that “it is at risk” and article 18 allows visits and efforts to analyze the situation, provided that the affected government authorizes it.
Castillo asked the OAS “to start a consultation process with all the political forces, the powers of the State and the social forces” in search of “a path that prevents a serious alteration of the democratic order in Peru.”
(Also: Corruption investigation puts the president of Peru and his family in check)
To ask you, Mr. Secretary General (Luis Almagro), to order the emergency measures that allow opening a dialogue (…) to resolve the political crisis that affects Peruvian democracy
Peru is going through an acute political crisis in which Castillo, in power since July 2021 for a five-year term, faced two impeachment attempts in Congress -dominated by the opposition- and was subjected to six tax investigations for alleged corruption, of which his closest family and political circle is also accused.
This week the Prosecutor’s Office formally denounced Castillo before Parliament, a process that can lead to a political trial and the suspension of the president, who considers himself the victim of a campaign to remove him from power. The president described the complaint of the Prosecutor’s Office as a “coup d’état”.
(Keep reading: The institutional crisis that has Peru on the ropes)
This Thursday, the OAS supported the Peruvian government and the “preservation of democratic institutions” and recalled that all state institutions are constitutionally subordinate to civil authority.
In addition, it declares itself ready to “provide support and cooperation” through efforts “to promote dialogue and the strengthening of its democratic system of government.”
*With information from AFP and EFE
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