The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) activated the Inter-American Democratic Charter in support of President Pedro Castillo and decided to send a “high-level” delegation to make an “analysis” of the political situation in Peru.
The OAS resolution, taken today in an extraordinary session, came after Mr. Castillo requested help to overcome the country’s political crisis. The president is currently being investigated by the Public Ministry for allegedly leading a criminal organization entrenched in the government.
Mr. Castillo had condemned what he called a “coup” against his government, spurred by the Public Ministry and from his opposition in Congress. In addition to multiple investigations open against him, the president could also be facing his third impeachment attempt by Congress since taking office in July of last year.
The OAS resolution expressed “its solidarity and support for the democratically elected Government of Peru, as well as for the preservation of democratic institutions.”
El Gobierno del Presidente @PedroCastilloTe solicitó la aplicación de la Carta Democrática citando los Art. 17 y 18. Por eso convocamos a Consejo Permanente de @OEA_oficial para que los países dispongan las medidas que consideren necesarias.
— Luis Almagro (@Almagro_OEA2015) October 20, 2022
The institution also promised to “provide support and cooperation, if required by the Peruvian government,” as well as promote “dialogue and the strengthening of its government system.”
Finally, the OAS announced that it will send a high-level delegation to Peru to “analyze the situation and report to the Permanent Council.”
Earlier Thursday, President of Congress José Williams said that “it is not appropriate to activate the Democratic Charter,” since the investigations against the president respect Peruvian laws.
“We act in compliance with the law, and this can be corroborated in the documents that we prepare. What the OAS decides is its right, but it will not affect the processes of Congress, the Public Ministry or the Judiciary,” he said.
According to Mr. Williams, the president is using the Democratic Charter to “cover up and obstruct the six criminal investigations against him.” He also said that the government “intends to misinform the OAS countries.”
Peru is going through an acute political crisis. In the last 14 months, President Castillo has survived two impeachment attempts by Congress and a third impeachment motion could soon be filed.
In addition, Mr. Castillo currently faces a constitutional complaint filed by Peru’s attorney general for alleged conspiracy, influence peddling and collusion.
The complaint is now in the hands of Congress. The document will have to go through several stages before a possible suspension of the presidential mandate can be voted on in a plenary session. Once the mandate is suspended, Mr. Castillo could be tried as an ordinary citizen for the crimes he is accused of committing.