The new Peruvian president, Pedro Castillo, chose this Thursday (29) Guido Bellido Ugarte, member of the Congress of his own party, the leftist Peru Libre, to be the Prime Minister of the Andean country.
Ugarte is a close name to the main political leader of legend, Vladimir Cerrón, a radical leftist, admirer of Chavismo, convicted of corruption and therefore unable to run for president. Cerrón is Castillo’s political godfather, who took office on Wednesday (28).
The choice of Ugarte, 41, elected representative of Cuzco in Parliament, is a sign that Castillo will carry out the announced project of decentralization of the administration.
“It will no longer be necessary to go to Lima, the government will be in every corner of the country”, he declared, shortly before proceeding to the investiture.
The prime minister chosen by the president opened an investigation against him for “incitement to terrorism”. He has already made a few statements in favor of the Sendero Luminoso guerrilla group, whose confrontation with the Peruvian state left more than 70,000 dead in the 1980s and 1990s.
The announcement took place during a symbolic presidential inauguration ceremony in Ayacucho, site of one of the region’s most important independence battles. The inauguration of Castillo takes place amid the celebrations for the date’s 200th anniversary.
In a speech shorter than the day before, Castillo reiterated that he would fight corruption, send a bill to convene a new Constituent Assembly by referendum and that he would fight against abuses of the current economic power.
Presidents Sebastián Piñera (Chile), Luis Arce (Bolivia), Alberto Fernández (Argentina) and former Bolivian president Evo Morales were present. They traveled from Lima, where the day before they had attended the official inauguration of Castillo. The leaders didn’t resist and took selfies of the place, one of Peru’s most important historical and tourist sites.
The ceremony took place in the presence of a crowd, which was moved away from the main stage by metal bars. Sometimes the euphoria allowed some to cross the barrier, but they were held back by security guards. There was no respect for social distancing.
In Ayacucho, Castillo is very popular, having won the second round with 84% of the vote. In his speech, he called for “the original peoples to participate in government”. After the speeches, there was a regional folk dance performance. The national anthem of Peru was sung in Quechua and Spanish.
Symbolic ownership was part of the plan to show that its administration was decentralized. The same was done by the former agent Alejandro Toledo, in 2001, when he celebrated a symbolic oath in the city of Cuzco.
Similar evenings were also organized by the leaders of the MAS (Movement towards Socialism) in Bolivia. Evo Morales and Luis Arce both celebrated, in addition to official ceremonies in the country’s capital, a ritual with the indigenous people, in the pre-Columbian city of Tiauanaco.