In less than a month at the head of Peru, President Pedro Castillo has already lost a minister: the controversial Héctor Béjar, 85, resigned on Tuesday (17) after the country’s navy repudiated the former’s claims. chancellor who linked military force to terrorism.
The statements, made in February, were broadcast on a TV show last Sunday (15). In these, Béjar says that “terrorism in Peru was initiated by the Navy”, which “was trained by the CIA”.
The day after the speeches were broadcast, the soldiers responded to comments, according to them “lacking in truth” and “an affront to the men and women who fought and are fighting against terrorist delinquency”.
This is not the first controversy provoked by Béjar. Previously, he had suggested that Peru no longer host the Grupo de Lima, formed by the nations that oppose Chavez’s dictatorship in Venezuela. While this is also Castillo’s position, the president kept the issue open.
The appointment as chancellor came as a surprise, as Béjar was part of the most radical wing of Peru Libre, the ruling party. In the wake of the reformulation of the image of the elected, it was thought that Castillo would make a moderate choice for the post. It has not yet been defined who will replace the minister.
Béjar, an admirer of Chavismo, was a friend of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. After four years in prison for his activities in the Peruvian jungle, he made his political debut in 1970, when he was amnestied by the military dictatorship of leftist Velasco Alvarado and became an advisor to the authoritarian leader.
The dismissal of Béjar from the Castillo government had already been requested on the 12th by opposition parliamentarians, with subtitles such as Avança País, Popular Renovation and Popular Force, which do not want Peru to abandon the Lima Group and the efforts to restore Venezuela to democracy.
“Béjar’s appointment came as a total surprise, as he was already considered a retired man, given his advanced age. [uma das principais do Peru], but we did not know if he had the qualities to be chancellor, he had never held similar functions before, “declared Folha Fernando Tuesta Soldevilla, political analyst and professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Peru.
For him, “words sympathetic to the current regimes in Cuba and Venezuela do not suit the market or the highly professional diplomatic corps that Peru has.”
Lawyer, doctor in sociology, Béjar was born into a middle-class family in the province of Huarochirí.
In the 1960s, enthusiastic about the Cuban Revolution, he went to Havana and trained there. Back in Peru, he joined the ranks of the MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement). He was arrested in 1966 after an unarmed attack by the armed forces. Amnesty and released, he joined the National Social Mobilization System, dedicated to the promotion and organization of social movements and activists.
After this experience, he left for university life and published books on recent Peruvian history, such as the award-winning “1965 – Notes from a Guerrilla Experience” and “Velasco”, a biography of the former dictator.
Béjar’s sentences on Cuba and Venezuela match what Castillo thinks. Commenting on the recent anti-dictatorship acts on the island, he said “there is a stupid and obvious maneuver underway, born from the most extreme sectors of the United States, to impose an already failed agenda.” Regarding the Chavismo, he said that it is “a moral obligation to defend him, because it is one of the few possibilities to change this dirty society”.
In defining the Castillo administration, in an interview with an Argentinian website, Béjar said that “the current wave of the left in Latin America will be more conservative and less progressive when it comes to individual freedoms, but broader in terms of rights. economic and social “. The now former chancellor, like Castillo, is opposed to the right to abortion and equal marriage.
In his oath, Béjar declared that Peru would have “a national, autonomous, democratic, social and decentralized diplomacy”. He also defended the creation of a Truth Commission to elucidate the abuses of the period of Alberto Fujimori’s dictatorship (1990-2000) and the war against the Shining Path. In its confrontation with the Peruvian state, the left guerrillas staged a period of great violence in the country, with a death toll of more than 70,000.
Last week, Béjar also said he agreed with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in criticizing the current role of the OAS (Organization of American States) and that he was in favor of creating a new Latin American bloc without the participation of the United States, as was Unasur.