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What has the Biden administration said about the arrest of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo?

Peru’s lawmakers voted to remove the former leader after he attempted to dissolve Congress ahead of an impending impeachment vote.

White House responds to arrest of Peruvian President Castillo

Peru swore in a new leader on Wednesday as Dina Boluarte became the nation’s first female President. Her confirmation came at the end of a tumultuous day that saw her predecessor, Pedro Castillo, impeached by lawmakers and arrested.

On Wednesday morning Castillo announced his intention to dissolve Congress, which was due to vote on an impeachment proposition against him. Castillo’s plan was decried by government officials, Peru’s Supreme Court and both the police and armed forces.

As the upheaval continues to play out in the capital city of Lima, President Biden has not yet issued a public comment on the situation.

However Lisa Kenna, the US Ambassador in Peru, said that she hoped Castillo’s removal would “allow Peru’s democratic institutions to function according to the Constitution.”

Likewise, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price issued a statement saying: “We will continue to stand against and to categorically reject any acts that contradict Peru’s constitution, any act that undermines democracy in that country.”

After being sworn in by lawmakers President Boluarte took to Twitter to denounce Castillo’s attempts to dissolve Congress, describing it as “a coup that aggravates the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome with strict adherence to the law.”

What have world leaders said about what happened in Peru?

The response to Castillo’s actions in Peru’s legislature has been almost unanimous, with 101 of 130 lawmakers voting to impeach him and just six votes against removing him from office. Since taking office in July 2021 Castillo has gone through more than 80 ministers, appointing allies lacking in the required experience to top jobs.

His departure is the latest example of the political instability in Peru, which has seen the country appoint six Presidents in the last six years.

There is now a real hunger for a period of stability in Peruvian politics. Boluarte has called for a truce between the various factions in Peru’s Congress and promised to name a cabinet that reflects all viewpoints.

The news of another Peruvian president’s toppling has been of great interest to neighbouring countries. A number of leaders in the region have expressed their concern for the situation in Lima, but noted that proper constitutional procedures appears to have been followed.

Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said: “It is always regrettable that a democratically elected president has this fate, but I understand that everything was forwarded in the constitutional framework.”

On Twitter, Chile’s foreign ministry described Castillo’s actions as a “rupture of constitutional order”, while the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs described them as “incompatible with the constitutional framework of that country”.