March in Lima against Pedro Castillo's government

Several members of the ministerial cabinet have open investigations for corruption and terrorism
Manifestantes llevan una bandera peruana gigante durante una protesta contra el gobierno del presidente de Perú, Pedro Castillo, en Lima, Perú, el 22 de agosto de 2021 REUTERS/SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA

REUTERS/SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA  -   Demonstrators carry a giant Peruvian flag during a protest against the government of Peru's President Pedro Castillo in Lima, Peru, 22 August 2021

Hundreds of people marched in Lima on Sunday to protest against the government of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo and insist on his vacancy, or impeachment, due to the controversy generated by his cabinet of ministers.

At least two demonstrations took place this Sunday in Lima, the Peruvian capital, by groups promoting the vacancy of the leftist Castillo and claiming to defend democracy in the country.

Similarly, a group of right-wing politicians, led by former presidential candidate Lourdes Flores, led protest demonstrations in the southern city of Arequipa.

The largest march in Lima travelled along several avenues to the district of Miraflores, to a central park where a truck was set up for the presentation of several speakers.

Un manifestante sostiene un cartel en el que se lee ""Policía sí, rondas campesinas no", durante un enfrentamiento con la policía en una protesta contra el gobierno del presidente de Perú, Pedro Castillo REUTERS/SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA
REUTERS/SEBASTIAN CASTANEDA-A demonstrator holds up a sign reading "Police yes, peasant patrols no" during a clash with police at a protest against the government of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo.

The demonstrators all wore red and white T-shirts and carried Peruvian flags, similar to the demonstrations held by former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, who was defeated in the second round by Castillo.

Former presidential candidate Francisco Diez Canseco of the Peru Nación party told the demonstrators that "to speak of vacancy is to speak of the salvation of Peru".

He recalled that on the 26th, the President of the Council of Ministers, Guido Bellido, will appear before the full Congress to ask for a vote of confidence in the Executive, and that several parties have announced that they will give him this vote.

However, Diez Canseco affirmed that "Congress has the constitutional and moral obligation to vacate Pedro Castillo's seat".

El presidente peruano Pedro Castillo pronunciando un discurso durante su ceremonia simbólica de investidura presidencial en Pampa de la Quinua en Ayacucho, sur de Perú, el 29 de julio de 2021 FP PHOTO / PERUVIAN PRESIDENCY / ALBERTO ORBEGOSO
AFP PHOTO / PERUVIAN PRESIDENCY / ALBERTO ORBEGOSO-Peruvian President Pedro Castillo delivering a speech during his symbolic presidential inauguration ceremony in Pampa de la Quinua in Ayacucho, southern Peru, on July 29, 2021.

The businessman and politician added that Castillo "has added to his curriculum" an alleged charge against him, "that of being morally incapable, with which there is absolute validity to remove him from the presidency of the Republic".

Several members of the ministerial cabinet have open investigations for corruption and terrorism, and former foreign minister Héctor Béjar was replaced last week after claiming that it was the navy that initiated terrorism in the country.

Another speaker, former congressman of the opposition Acción Popular party Ricardo Burga, called on the demonstrators not to lose interest in their struggle.

El primer ministro de Perú, Guido Bellido, PHOTO/REUTERS
PHOTO/REUTERS-Peruvian Prime Minister Guido Bellido

"We have to prevent communism from taking root in the country, we have to prevent foreign ideologies from gaining a foothold. We are not supporting a candidate, we are supporting our country and we are not going to leave", he said.

Burga's party was identified as one of the promoters of the impeachment of former president Martin Vizcarra in November last year, and the former president's successor, the then president of Congress, Manuel Merino, was also from Acción Popular.

However, Merino was also dismissed and replaced by legislator Francisco Sagasti, who handed over the presidency to Castillo on 28 July.