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Turmoil In Peru As President Castillo Is Impeached And Arrested

The leftist president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, was impeached and arrested on Wednesday after he tried to dissolve Congress hours before lawmakers were set to vote to impeach him, in the latest political drama in the world’s second-largest copper producer.  

Earlier on Wednesday, Castillo attempted to dissolve Congress by decree, but legislators moved with the impeachment vote and voted 101-to-6 with 10 abstentions to remove him from office due to “permanent moral incapacity.”

Castillo was later arrested and charged with rebellion for his attempt to violate the Constitution, which was described by the judiciary as an attempted coup.

Vice President Dina Boluarte, 60, was sworn in as Peru’s new president late on Wednesday, becoming the first woman to lead the country. Boluarte will serve as president until 2026.

Boluarte criticized her predecessor’s attempt to dissolve Congress, saying on Twitter that Castillo’s actions amounted to “a coup that aggravates the political and institutional crisis, which Peruvian society will have to overcome with strict adherence to the law.”  

The political crisis in Peru, the world’s second-biggest copper producer behind Chile, comes just as a growing number of mining companies and analysts say that a huge copper shortage is looming and could derail many bold energy transition plans. 

Peru’s copper production rose by 1.1% in October compared to September and by 8.3% compared to October 2021, figures from the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines showed earlier this week. 

Also this week, mining and commodities giant Glencore said that a huge shortage of copper is looming, while significant mine development is lagging.

According to Glencore’s estimates, under the net-zero emissions pathway of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world will be more than 50 million tons short of copper between 2022 and 2030.

Moreover, Goldman Sachs said this week that copper prices are set for a new record-high next year amid an “extremely” tight market.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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