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The unlikely president has suffered an exodus of ministers after six months of political turmoil

Gideon Long in Bogotá

Six months in office, four prime ministers, three foreign ministers, two finance ministers and one unanswered question: how long can Peru’s leftwing president Pedro Castillo remain in power?

Ever since he was sworn in last July as the most unlikely leader in the country’s history, Castillo — a rural primary school teacher with no previous government experience — has led an administration in constant flux.

He has made 20 ministerial changes — an average of almost one a week. A foreign minister quit after being outed as an apologist for the Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path; an interior minister was axed for hosting a party in breach of coronavirus restrictions; a defence minister quit in a scandal over the promotion of officers in the armed forces; this week, Castillo’s third prime minister resigned after just four days amid allegations he physically assaulted his wife and daughter.