Is Peru becoming ungovernable?

Gustavo Petro sweeps Colombia election primaries
14 Mar 2022

Known for political turmoil, its president Pedro Castillo now faces an impeachment vote accused of ‘moral incapacity’

Gideon Long in Lima

When Félix Chero knelt before Peru’s president Pedro Castillo last Sunday and swore to serve as the country’s justice minister he became the 46th minister in the Castillo government in just eight months.

Since taking office last July, the president has rattled through four cabinets, four prime ministers, three foreign ministers and two finance ministers. Chero is his third justice minister. No Peruvian president has made so many cabinet changes in their first year in office — and there are still four months to go.

“The word ‘chaos’ no longer seems strong enough to describe the country’s political situation,” says John Youle, executive president of ConsultAndes, a local political risk advisory group. “Peru is politically dysfunctional, with Castillo unable or unwilling to select an adequate cabinet, and with congress focused almost exclusively on forcing him from office.”