The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, was arrested on Wednesday, just hours after he announced the dissolution of Congress in a televised address to the nation, APA reports citing El Pais.
In the speech, Castillo had also decreed a “government of exception” and issued an immediate nighttime curfew for the country.
The president said legislative elections will be called to elect new members of Congress, who will approve a new Constitution. The message, described by his own supporters as a “coup d’état in progress,” was issued hours before Castillo was set to face his third impeachment vote.
After the televised speech, Castillo appeared before the prefecture – the body in charge of maintaining public order – to call for guarantees and was arrested. Meanwhile, Congress members continued with the impeachment vote despite Castillo’s announcement. Dina Boluarte was named as a possible candidate to assume the presidency.
The US ambassador to Peru, Lisa Kenna, responded quickly to Castillo’s message. “The United States categorically rejects any extraconstitutional act by President Castillo to prevent Congress from fulfilling its mandate,” she stated in a message on Twitter. And within the country, the Constitutional Court has called on the Armed Forces to “restore the order.”