In the early days of his presidency, he was acclaimed by crowds in public squares as the humble man representing those who had never held power in Peru. On Wednesday, following a crazy plan that lasted three hours, finding himself alone and with no support, his days in government ended with a last-ditch attempt to seek refuge in the Mexican Embassy, according to several sources.
Pedro Castillo, the rural school teacher who went to vote in the 2021 presidential elections on the back of a horse, was able to take advantage of Peru’s political crisis to rise to power. But he never really managed to take control of the government. His own security detail escorted him to a Lima police station on Wednesday, where he was later photographed reading a magazine, seemingly unconcerned by the situation.
That scene of tranquillity was fictitious. Just three hours earlier, Castillo had announced what amounted to a self-coup to cling to power, as former president Alberto Fujimori did in his day. But unlike the latter, Castillo did not have the support of the military, business leaders or the media.