Pedro Castillo renews command of the Peruvian Armed Forces

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo during a military parade in Lima, Peru, July 30, 2021| Photo: Presidency of Peru/Agenzia EFE

Peru’s new president, Pedro Castillo, has named a new head of the country’s Armed Forces Joint Command, as well as new Army, Navy and Air Force commanders. For the post of new head of the Joint Command, Castillo chose Manuel Gómez de la Torre, former commander-in-chief of the Army, and for this last post he appointed General José Vizcarra.

The leftist politician was forced to appoint a new head of the Joint Command after the departure of César Astudillo, who asked former interim president Francisco Sagasti (2020-2021) to be retired before Castillo took office.

Castillo took advantage of this change to also renew the command of the Air Force (FAP), replacing Rodolfo Pereyra with Jorge Chaparro, and that of the Navy, although with a deeper process. The Peruvian president appointed Vice Admiral Alberto Alcalá, who was not next in line in seniority, as general commander. He made the decision after several retired Navy officers led a movement of retired military personnel to ask the Armed Forces not to recognize Castillo as president, which in practice would have been a coup d’état.

The episode took place amidst the political tension experienced in the country after the second round of presidential elections, with conservative sectors mobilizing against the results of the polls and in favor of allegations of fraud presented by the right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori.

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