The United States has called for political reform in Peru in the wake of the removal of leftist president Pedro Castillo, as Pope Francis urged dialogue to overcome the crisis and violent protests that have left at least 19 people dead.
In a call to new president Dina Boluarte on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged her and other officials to “redouble their efforts to make needed reforms and safeguard democratic stability,” department spokesman Ned Price said Sunday.
“The United States looks forward to working closely with President Boluarte on shared goals and values,” Price said in a statement, adding that Blinken stressed the need for all Peruvian actors “to engage in constructive dialogue to ease political divisions and focus on reconciliation.”
Pope Francis also called for dialogue, saying Sunday: “Let us also pray for peace in Peru, that the violence in that country might cease and that the path of dialogue might be embarked upon to overcome the political and social crisis.”
Earlier this month, Castillo was removed from office and detained after he tried to dissolve the legislature and announced he would rule by decree, amid several corruption probes targeting him.
He has been ordered to spend 18 months in pretrial detention.
Boluarte, who had served as Castillo’s vice president, rose to power, but she lacks the support the former president enjoyed in much of the country, and violent riots ensued.
Beyond the 19 deaths, more than 550 people have been injured, according to officials.
Boluarte has resisted opposition demands to step down and has called for fresh elections, but lawmakers voted against a bill to move elections forward from 2026 to December 2023. The measure will come up for another vote on Tuesday.