Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, examined the political conditions in Peru during an interview with Al Jazeera as the Andean nation swears in President Pedro Castillo on July 28. The interview highlighted the distrust and division among Peruvians during this contested election as well as the importance of pragmatism and cooperation for the Castillo administration as they push for their reformist agenda.
Comments from Michael Shifter:
“Castillo has sent contradictory signals about whether he plans to work with people who did not vote for him. He is under enormous pressure, but I think if he wants to be successful and deliver on what he has promised, he will have to be more moderate, more pragmatic, and be able to make deals and create alliances with those who voted against him in the election.”
“Despite Castillo pulling back on the idea of nationalizing key industries, he has instead taken a more moderate position and talked about raising taxes. However, many in Peru remain concerned by his agenda and his party’s platform.”
“[Castillo] is a complete neophyte. He is not well known. We don’t know who Pedro Castillo is other than he is a rural schoolteacher, a union leader.”
“There’s enormous distrust and suspicion. My own view is that those fears are unfounded and baseless, but what I think people should be concerned about is simply the inability to govern, lots of disorder and chaos and volatility in Peru, which also is not very good in terms of what needs to be done to address the needs of those who have been left behind.”