After winning the presidential runoff over Conservative candidate Keiko Fujimori, President Pedro Castillo Terrones has been accused by his Peru Libre political force of having broken party unity and applying neoliberal policies at odds with the group's leftist stance.
Therefore, Castillo should resign as a party member, they insisted from the Marxist-Leninist Perú Libre. ”The National Executive Council, the Perú Libre bench, and the Political Committee of the Perú Libre party (...) extend the invitation to his irrevocable resignation, considering his current investiture as constitutional president of the Republic, the political movement said through a statement published by party-founder Vladimir Cerrón.
Cerrón was unable to run for president due to criminal cases filed against him. Still, as Secretary-General of the political association, he accused Castillo of fomenting division within the organization. Our party will continue fighting for the conquest of its legitimate aspirations, which undoubtedly are non-negotiable and unwavering to achieve a democratic, decentralist, inclusive, internationalist, humanist, and fully sovereign country.”
Castillo has refrained from commenting on the request, which could further weaken his position in a context in which opposition forces are constantly working with the explicit goal of removing him from office or forcing his resignation.
If the 16 lawmakers who still respond to PL out of the original 37 join any future motion to vacate, Castillo will lose the Congressional support he has had so far and thanks to which he has already survived 2 impeachment attempts in less than a year in office.
Founded in 2008 by Cerrón in the Andean department of Junín, Perú Libre was born as a force of regional scope only. Hence, its coming to power was a surprise after an onslaught by Castillo in the first round, which made it the alternative against the resisted right-wing Fujimori.
However, tensions soon erupted between those who remained loyal to Cerron and a president who sought to handle matters his own way.
Cerrón, a 51-year-old physician trained professionally and ideologically in Cuba, has been convicted for acts of corruption during his time as governor of Junín (2011-2014), which banned him from running for office, which is why he chose Castillo, a rural teacher who four years earlier had grabbed headlines as the leader of a teachers' strike that marked milestones for its harshness and duration (four months).
In January 2022, the Party expelled from its ranks the country's vice-president, Dina Boluarte, for indiscipline following statements in which she dissociated herself from the party's ideology.
Three months later, Cerrón -one of the most critical voices against Castillo- presented a constitutional reform to bring forward the presidential and parliamentary elections to the end of March 2023, an initiative that caused differences among its different members.