Name? Pedro Castillo
Westphalian identity? Peruvian
Why is he in the news? President Pedro Castillo fired Guido Bellido as Prime Minister of Perú last week along with six other cabinet members. Bellido was initially a controversial pick for Castillo’s government as a Shining Path apologist and all-around way-more-extremist-than-expected.
Why do we care? Much like we predicted, Bellido threatened last week to nationalize private natural gas reserves—going against Castillo’s promises to promote private enterprise in Perú. This caused internal divisions between the governing branches and now 7 people were fired and replaced. The seven replacements move the cabinet away from the orthodox far-left (think Hugo Chavez) to a more moderate left-wing government.
Why should you care? This reshuffle seems to be a step in the direction of Castillo’s original promises to the Peruvian people: a balanced, leftist, government uncorrupted by party interests. Castillo distanced himself from the leadership of his party, Perú Libre, and is now forging his own, more centred path of governance. Could it be that a populist leader in Latin America will do right by their constituents? We will have to see. You should care 6/10 about Castillo de-extremist-ing the government.
Who else cares? Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS). Perú is a key player in the South American economy. Castillo’s move to moderation is congruent with the commitment he made at the OAS to promote foreign investment in Peru and prove that they ”are not communist”. Almagro iterated Castillo’s role in the Latin American economy and the fight against inequality in the region.
Any further comments? Two scenarios: either Castillo is making moves to take possession against a party that he originally ran with little affinity to their ideas, or he is saving face for political capital in order to radicalise the government further down the line. Either will prove critical for the future of Peru and foreign willingness to partake in their commodities market.