ONLINE EVENT: Peru’s Precarious Politics — The Crisis Deepens


Event Summary This event has passed.

On December 11, amidst an acute political crisis and nation-wide protests, Peruvian president Dina Boluarte proposed moving up the country’s next general elections by two years, to April 2024. The latest escalation in the cycle of chaos was set off on December 7, when then-President Pedro Castillo attempted to subvert the constitution by closing Congress and taking over the judiciary.  

Castillo had been increasingly dogged by accusations of corruption, with six ongoing investigations by the country’s attorney general. Peruvian institutions, notably the armed forces, responded quickly and constitutionally, rejecting Castillo’s attempted self-coup. When Congress voted overwhelmingly to impeach Castillo, Boluarte, then vice president, became Peru’s first female president and the country’s sixth head of state since July 2016. Castillo, who sought exile in Mexico, was detained and is awaiting trial.  

The respite from political instability proved even more fleeting than expected, however. Last weekend, demonstrations erupted in several impoverished areas in southern Peru. To date, seven have been killed and many injured in police clashes, leading Boluarte to say she would declare a state of emergency in conflict zones. Protesters called for new elections, the closure of Congress, a constitutional assembly and, especially among rural and indigenous communities, freeing Castillo. Protesters are now threatening to block major mining operations.  

In the current context, the obstacles to achieving a measure of political consensus and stability are daunting. The Congress is seeking to cling to privileges and is widely viewed as corrupt. Boluarte has scant political experience and no political party. Polls consistently show that Peruvians distrust their political institutions even more than do other Latin Americans.   

In light of the extremely fluid situation in Peru, the Dialogue will feature three leading experts to address a number of questions including: 

  • What are the main factors that account for Peru’s current crisis? How are different key actors behaving, including political parties of different stripes, civil society, and the private sector?  
  • How has Boluarte performed since becoming president? Will she be able to remain in office until July 2024? Will early elections quell the unrest? What can she and Congress accomplish over the next two years?  
  • What are the necessary steps to avoid similar crises in the future? Are political reforms and constitutional measures the right answer? 
  • Many have noted that, despite the December 7 crisis, Peruvian democracy held, which is no small feat. Is this a time to celebrate Peruvian democracy? What are its strengths and weaknesses? 
  • How do you assess the international reaction to the Peru’s latest crisis? How have other Latin American governments responded? What do the positions taken reveal about democracy in the region?  
  • Analysts have long talked about the Peruvian paradox – the coexistence of political instability and economic stability. To what extent do current circumstances put that coexistence at risk? Will Peru’s generally positive macroeconomic results suffer if the political crisis persists?  

The Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to welcome a panel of distinguished experts for a conversation on the outlook of Peru’s crisis.

Follow the event on Twitter at #CrisisInPeru and @The_Dialogue.

We invite participants to submit questions using the Q&A function in Zoom OR to email questions to

Watch the event here:



President and CEO, Inter-American Dialogue (@RebeccaBillChav)



Principal Professor of Economics, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú


Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú



Senior Fellow, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)

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