Peru Is Tired of Castillo’s On-the-Job Training

Peru Is Tired of Castillo’s On-the-Job Training
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, left, waves alongside his new chief of Cabinet, Anibal Torres, during the swearing-in ceremony for his new Cabinet at the government palace in Lima, Peru, Feb. 8, 2022 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo did not wear his trademark broad-brimmed hat on Tuesday when he swore in his fourth Cabinet in six months. It may seem a trivial detail, but the embattled Castillo, who has worn the traditional headwear for practically every public appearance, may have been trying to signal to the country that this is a new beginning for his young, tumultuous presidency.

Since he took office at the end of July, Peruvians have witnessed scandals and missteps coming from Castillo’s administration with unceasing regularity. Now, even those who had argued that Castillo—a rural schoolteacher without government experience—deserved a chance to prove himself are saying they and the country have had enough.

A pivotal moment came 48 hours before the new Cabinet announcement, when the country’s biggest newspaper, El Comercio, urged him to resign. In a searing editorial, the respected daily knocked the hat off the president’s head, claiming, “The country has had enough patience with the president’s on-the-job training.”

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