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Supporters demand release of former president Castillo as Mexican ambassador arrives for asylum talks

Supporters of former president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, protested outside the police building in Lima where he is being detained on Thursday, following an impeachment trial which ended with his removal from office.

The crowd chanting and holding signs such as ‘Release the president’ and ‘Strength to Castillo’, with some seen wiping away tears. A convoy reportedly carrying Mexican ambassador Pablo Monroy is shown arriving at the facility, following media reports that Castillo had requested political asylum in the country.

“It is an injustice. Why? Because he is not a criminal,” claimed one supporter, Gladys Buitron. “He has not stolen, he has not killed, he has not done anything in Peru. They have planted everything on him from the first day he set foot in the Government Palace.”

Congress voted to impeach Castillo on Wednesday, ignoring an attempt by the former president to dissolve parliament. Dina Boluarte, the country’s vice president, was sworn in as the first female president of Peru.

“We do not recognise Mrs Dina Boluarte because we have not elected her as president, the president is Pedro Castillo. And we do recognise him,” stated another protester, Teresa Rojas.

The government reported that Castillo was detained, accused of ‘rebellion’ and ‘conspiracy’. Reports suggest Mexico is now considering his request for asylum.

Castillo had survived two earlier impeachment attempts, while the latest began when the prosecutor’s office accused him leading a ‘criminal organisation’.

He strongly denied the charges, describing them as ‘slander’ and an attempted power grab. The former leftist president was elected in 2021.

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