Under fire, Castillo leaves Perú Libre party

Castillo leaves Perú Libre Joseph Moreno M/Shutterstock
Relations between Pedro Castillo and the Perú Libre party soured quickly. Photo: Joseph Moreno M/Shutterstock

Political instability is back in Peru after President Pedro Castillo tendered his resignation to the Perú Libre party, which he rode to the country’s top office in last year’s election.

“I have presented my irrevocable resignation from Perú Libre. The decision is in line with my responsibilities as a president of 33 million Peruvians. I am respectful of the party and the bases it built during the campaign,” the president said yesterday.

Mr. Castillo was forced out by Vladimir Cerrón, the real leader of the party, who publicly demanded his resignation after saying he was not following its political principles. 

“The policies carried forward by this government are not in line with its campaign promises,” Perú Libre’s original communiqué said. Mr. Cerrón is a Marxist-Leninist supporter of Cuba and Venezuela, and his political positions led to clashes with the more flexible Mr. Castillo on multiple occasions since the beginning of his term.

The president, a rural teacher who won popularity as a union leader, had used Cerrón’s party to structure his presidential campaign, despite it seeming unlikely to win when it was launched.

Mr. Cerrón’s votes were also fundamental throughout the multiple battles for survival Mr. Castillo faced in Congress, including two impeachment attempts.