Pedro Castillo Terrones has been sworn in Wednesday as Peru's new President for the 2021-2026 term just barely a week after being declared the winner of the June 6 runoff against conservative candidate Keiko Fujimori.
Upon taking his oath of office, Castillo vowed to lead a country without corruption and with a new Constitution.
Wearing his traditional hat and a dark suit of Andean ethnic inspiration, Castillo swore by God, the family, the native peoples, the peasants, the masters and the ronderos (peasant self-defense groups).
In a ceremony at the Peruvian one-house Congress the 51-year-old rural teacher, peasant and unionist, received the presidential sash from outgoing interim President Francisco Sagasti who spent eight months and eleven days in office after anouther round of turmoil in the country's politics.
Present at the ceremony were Presidents from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, in addition to Spanish King Felipe VI, and Brazil's Vice President, together with foreign ministers of several other Latin American nations.
The brand new presidential office announced a new Prime Minister is to be sworn in Thursday in Ayacucho, Castillo's cabinet ministers will take the oath of office on August 1.
On the day of the 200th anniversary of our Independence, there is a government for the people and with the people, President Castillo said as he underscored the fact that he was the son of this country founded on the sweat of our ancestors and that the pride and deep pain of Peru runs through my veins.
The new head of state focused his speech on issues such as the fight against Covid-19, the support of rural families with financing plans through low-interest loans for SMEs, and other interventions to stimulate responsible mining of our Mother Earth.
But at any rate, Castillo's main problem will be governance, since only around one third of Congress seats are held by his political allies, while the opposition virtually has the number of votes required for his impeachment.
Castillo is also said to be eager to launch a Constitutional reform in the lines of the one being carried out in Chile, so asa to curtail some of the upper hand traditional politicians still have on the country's affairs.
Meanwhile, Vice President Dina Boluarte became the first woman to reach such a high office. Her swearing in speech was inspired on a poem by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano: “For the nobodies; for those who deprived of their voices; for a sovereign homeland embraced in one heart. Yes, I swear,” Boluarte said.
These are verses from Galeano's 1989 poem Los Nadies (The Nobodies). “Nobodies, who cost less than the bullet that kills them...” goes the original text.