General César Astudillo resigned from his post as head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces (CCFFAA) of Peru this Sunday (25), three days before the inauguration of President-elect Pedro Castillo. According to military sources, the general asked for his retirement, citing “personal reasons”.
Astudillo has been at the head of the CCFFAA since October 2018. It is still unclear whether the general’s decision was accepted by the interim president, Francisco Sagasti, or by the Minister of Defense, Nuria Esparch.
The result of the Peruvian presidential elections was announced last Monday (19), after more than 40 days of a count marked by tension and threats from candidate Keiko Fujimori not to acknowledge defeat, alleging fraud.
In the end, leftist Pedro Castillo won 50.12% of the votes cast, against 49.87% for right-hander and conservative Keiko Fujimori. The inauguration of Castillo is scheduled for next Wednesday (28).
The daily La República obtained conflicting information on the reasons which led the general to resign, including allegations that the decision was taken due to an ideological disagreement with the next president of Peru. Still others say Castillo’s transition team announced changes to the CCFFAA that Astudillo disagrees with and that the resignation was made to avoid friction with the future government.
There is also another version: soldiers close to Castillo, such as General Wilson Barrantes Mendoza, who chairs the transition commission of the Ministry of Defense, oppose maintaining Astudillo. The reservation is said to be justified by accusations that Astudillo was involved in the diversion of military fuels, which affects the image of the country’s armed forces.
In the middle of the second round of elections in the fierce conflict between Castillo and Fujimori, a group of retired soldiers marched in favor of the right. Officers in active service, however, respecting the Peruvian Constitution, without interfering in national politics.