The tension and an exchange of attacks set the tone for the first debate of the presidential runoff in Peru.
After disagreements over the rules and location of the event, the two candidates agreed that it would take place in the Plaza de Armas de Chota, a town in the department of Cajamarca which is the birthplace of the union leader and professor of left Pedro. Castillo, 51 years old.
Winner of the first round, he will face right winger Keiko Fujimori, 45, former congressman and daughter of autocrat Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000).
The second round takes place on June 6.
“I had to come here for you to agree to debate with me. I hope that means that you will now agree to hold the other four debates planned by the electoral body,” Fujimori said, taking the stage, to hoots. of The supporters of Castillo.
Castillo had arrived on the stage mounted in the square 10 minutes before 1 p.m. (3 p.m. in Brazil). He danced, waved to the audience, then started to gesture with his hand, patting his wrist on his wrist, to indicate that Fujimori was late.
The candidate struggled to get to the scene, first because she was stuck in traffic, but second because she was blocked by Castillo supporters as she crossed the square and climbed. on the scene.
There were voters on the site, but in smaller numbers. According to Peruvian radio RPP, three quarters of the square was occupied by followers of Castillo and a quarter by fujimoristas. The sanitary rules were not respected, there was overcrowding and a lack of use of masks.
The moderator of the event began to introduce it before Fujimori arrived, following protests from his assistants, who were already at the scene. The debate started 34 minutes late.
Debaters exchanged beards all the time. “To come here, I just asked for time off from my job, when you had to ask permission to go to court,” Castillo said, referring to the corruption process to which Fujimori responds.
“Like all Communists, you don’t have the truth and you hide that your party is linked to corruption,” she said. The candidate also said that the self-defense groups Castillo defends, the so-called “ronderos”, are linked to “acts of terrorism”.
When reviewing the coronavirus pandemic, the two made ambitious proposals. “I have already spoken to the Russian ambassador and we will have 20 million doses (of the Sputink V vaccine) to apply when we take over,” Castillo said.
The winner of the election will take office on July 28.
Fujimori said: “I have also spoken to the Russian Ambassador and I promise to vaccinate all Peruvians by the end of the year.”
Both dressed in the colors of Peru. Fujimori with a national team t-shirt and Castillo with a white jacket with red stripes and the word “Peru”.
When debating the structure of how power works, Castillo again asserted that he would end the Defensoria do Povo, the Constitutional Court and the current Constitution, establishing an assembly to draft a new Charter. Fujimori said that “since he has no idea, Mr. Castillo just wants to destroy the institutions that exist, instead of presenting proposals.”
Instead, he said he would propose the return of welfare policies, like Prona, which existed during the years of his father’s government, and that he would build 3,000 schools “just like my father built. 3000 “. Castillo said he also wanted to reform the justice system, with “popular elections for the post of judge”.
Both have defended the family as the basis of society on several occasions and have vowed to fight the so-called gender ideology.
Regarding security, Fujimori said he would have “a firm mother’s hand” and build more prisons. Castillo, who in his administration, the prisoners will have to work, but that delinquency “on several levels” had to be seen and that it was necessary to punish “not only the delinquents who are in prison, but also the delinquents who are in potential” .
The two also agreed to apply restrictions on the entry of foreigners into the country – Peru is the one that receives the most Venezuelan immigrants in the region, after Colombia. Fujimori has vowed to be stricter in monitoring claims in the country, while Castillo said that “the foreigner who commits a crime in Peru will be deported in 72 hours.”