President Pedro Castillo’s Challenges after 100 Days of Government

SOURCE: Red Muqi.

On Friday, November 5, 2021, President Pedro Castillo completed 100 days of his government. However, it feels it’s been more than a year due to the permanent confrontation and political crisis we have been subjected to by the executive branch and congress. This situation has postponed the Castillo government’s plan for change, all this amid a pandemic and an economic crisis from which we have yet to emerge. 

Finally, yesterday the cabinet headed by Mirtha Vásquez, after going back and forth for a week and dismissals at the Ministry of the Interior, received a vote of confidence, approved by Congress. Therefore, we hope that to quote Vásquez Premier, the promised changes to the population will be kept: “The people’s government is committed to making changes, transformations, implementing urgent responses, particularly around the crisis that the country is experiencing and today was an important step to begin this arduous task.”

During the first 100 days of his government, President Pedro Castillo has not had respite to begin implementing changes and had to face several problems, particularly the reactivation of social conflicts. A few days after taking office, Guido Bellido’s cabinet had to travel to meet the demands of the communities of Chumbivilcas mining corridor due to the presence of Las Bambas mining company. After a short truce, the protests continued, and other provinces such as Cotabambas and Espinar joined with the same demands. But the social conflict has been reactivated with greater force these past two weeks when the claims of the mining corridor in the South Andean region joined the protests of the Ayacucho and Huancavelica communities due to the presence of mining projects, and the case of Antamina in Ancash. There were reports of acts of violence between the protesters, the PNP, and even mining companies themselves, in some cases. In most of these cases, Prime Minister Vásquez has responded quickly with the installation of spaces for dialogue and calls for a truce to react to the multiple demands of the communities and the local population. The great challenge now is for these agreements to be fulfilled, the institution of the Vice Ministry of Territorial Governance should be bolstered on issues of management of social conflict regulation, which unfortunately has not been the best in recent years.

Along these lines, from the Muqui Network, we believe the following pending substantial changes should be reviewed and channeled after the first 100 days of Castillo’s government:

1) Approval of the Special Multisectoral Care Plan for those affected by toxic metals.

2) Begin the discussion on tax reform for the mining sector, in particular, on a special tax on mining profits.

3) The social management of water, which includes reviewing the water resources law and the National Water Authority’s (ANA) reform.

4) For gender equality policies to be guaranteed and to prioritize attention to women’s issues.

5) Implementation of the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (MINJUSDH).

6) Guarantee full participation of indigenous and native peoples and their right to prior consultation in the development of extractive projects.

7) Propose the review of a new regulatory framework for mining, as well as the policy on mining concessions in the country.

8) Implement the second agrarian reform to vindicate indigenous peoples, peasants, and small producers of the coast, mountains, and rainforest regions, and placing family farming at the highest level that it requires.

Jaime Borda

Jaime Borda

Jaime Borda / Secretario Ejecutivo de la Red Muqui.

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