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Peru’s ousted president claims he’s still in charge from prison less than a week after a failed coup attempt

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Pedro Castillo in police custodyOusted President Pedro Castillo in police custody after he attempted to dissolve Peru’s congress on December 7.

Renato Pajuelo/AP

  • Pedro Castillo was detained last week after he attempted to dissolve Peru’s Congress.
  • Castillo was quickly replaced by Dina Boluarte, Peru’s first female president.
  • In a letter shared on Twitter, Castillo said he was still president and called Boluarte a “usurper.”

Former President Pedro Castillo, who was ousted on December 7 after a failed attempt to seize power, claimed he was still in charge of Peru in a letter written from prison and shared on his Twitter on Monday.

“I’m speaking with you to reiterate that I’m unconditionally proud of the popular and the constitutional mandate that I hold as president, and I won’t renounce it or abandon my other sacred functions,” Castillo wrote in a letter addressed to the Peruvian people.

—Pedro Castillo Terrones (@PedroCastilloTe) December 12, 2022

On the late morning of December 7, Castillo declared in an unexpected televised address that he would dissolve his nation’s Congress and install an emergency government — an announcement that shocked even his own political allies. In his statement, Castillo said he would “reestablish the rule of law and democracy” and draft a different Constitution under a new Congress.

But by the end of the day, the attempted coup was quickly thwarted. Congress impeached the president, who was later detained by authorities, and Dina Boluarte, Castillo’s vice president, was sworn in the same day, making her Peru’s first woman leader.

Some of Castillo’s supporters have since protested the ousted president’s imprisonment and have called for Boluarte’s immediate resignation, The Associated Press reported. On Monday, Boluarte proposed to expedite a general election to April 2024.

“My duty as president of the republic in the current difficult time is to interpret, read and collect the aspirations, interests and concerns …of the vast majority of Peruvians,” Boluarte said, according to The AP. “So, interpreting in the broadest way the will of the citizens… I have decided to assume the initiative to reach an agreement with the Congress of the republic to advance the general elections.”

In his letter shared Monday, Castillo hoped to undermine Boluarte’s attempt to placate protesters and called her a “usurper.”

“What was said recently by a usurper is the same snot and drool of the putschist right-wing. For this, the people shouldn’t fall for the dirty game of new elections. Stop the abuse! Call an assembly now! Freedom immediately,” he wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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