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A look at years of political chaos in Peru

Peruvian politics is marked by a series of cases of corruption and crises, the latest being the removal of President Pedro Castillo.

Peru has seen a series of presidents ousted or imprisoned on corruption charges in the past three decades.

On Wednesday, Peru’s Congress voted to remove President Pedro Castillo from office in his third impeachment trial since he took office in July last year.

The move came just hours after Castillo said he would dissolve the legislature by decree.

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Here’s a rundown of Peru’s recent political turmoil:

Pedro Castillo, 2021-2022

Castillo, a former teacher and farmer, garnered strong support in poor rural parts of the country to win a divisive election campaign, but his approval ratings fell rapidly and he faced ongoing opposition from a fragmented Congress and accusations of “moral incapacity.”

He survived two impeachment votes before finally being ousted Wednesday on a dramatic day in which he had previously tried to dissolve Congress, prompting accusations of an attempted coup.

Manuel Merino, 2020

A former head of Congress who led an impeachment process against his predecessor Martín Vizcarra and lasted less than a week.

He resigned after two deaths during protests against his government that led to an exodus of his cabinet and widespread calls for his removal. Lawmakers had said they would impeach him if he did not resign.

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Martin Vizcarra, 2018-2020

Lawmakers ousted Vizcarra after media reports claimed he had received $640,000 (2.3 million soles) in bribes from two companies that won a public works tender when he was regional governor years earlier.

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Vizcarra, who had long clashed with lawmakers, strenuously denied the allegations but was ousted from office after a second impeachment trial in as many months found him “morally unfit” to govern.

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, 2016-2018

Prosecutors investigated Kuczynski for favoring contracts with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht when he was a minister to former President Alejandro Toledo.

Kuczynski initially denied any ties to Odebrecht, a company at the center of a region-wide political corruption investigation. But he finally acknowledged that his consultant advised the builder in financing the project. Kuczynski resigned from the presidency in 2018 amid pressure from Congress.

Ollanta Humala, 2011-2016

Humala is facing trial over allegations that he received $3 million from Odebrecht during the 2011 presidential election campaign.

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Prosecutors have asked for 20 years in prison. Humala denies the accusations.

Alan Garcia, 1985-1990 and 2006-2011

Garcia committed suicide in April 2019 with a shot to the head when Peruvian police arrived to arrest him on allegations that he participated in another Odebrecht bribery scheme.

A charismatic political leader who served two terms, Garcia repeatedly denied the bribery allegations.

Alexander Toledo, 2001-2006

Toledo is accused of receiving a $20 million bribe from Odebrecht during his tenure. He is free on bail in the United States, but faces extradition proceedings to Peru.

The former president, who has denied the allegations, spent nearly eight months in a California prison.

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Alberto Fujimori, 1990-2000

Fujimori is serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuses, including commanding death squads that massacred civilians in a counterinsurgency campaign during his rule.

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He was later found guilty of corruption in a huge scandal as well.

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