Peru’s Castillo reshuffles Cabinet yet again as prosecutors ramp up probes

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LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian President Pedro Castillo reshuffled his Cabinet for the second time in less than three weeks on Wednesday, as prosecutors continue investigations into his close allies and family members.

The embattled president named new ministers in charge of the environment, defense and women. But he kept Geiner Alvarado, the transport minister, whom prosecutors allege has led a “criminal organization” from within the government alongside Castillo.

The key posts in charge of the economy and mining also remained unchanged. Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper producer.

Since taking power a year ago, Castillo has overseen unprecedented turnover in senior government roles, naming on average five new ministers each month.

Experts say the high turnover has directly impacted public spending which has slowed down since Castillo came to office, at a time when Peru is still recovering from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Castillo is facing six criminal investigations, including for alleged obstruction of justice and over alleged irregularities in the naming of military officials.

His sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes, is facing a potential three years in pre-trial detention for alleged influence peddling, with a judge expected to rule on her case later on Wednesday.

Castillo’s wife, Lilia Paredes, has also been included in the probes, while a former minister is on the run.

Peruvian presidents have often been ensnared by corruption allegations in recent years. Four former presidents are either imprisoned, in house arrest or facing potential prison time.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino and Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Photo – President of Peru Pedro Castillo and First Lady Lilia Ulcida Paredes Navarro. EPA-EFE/Caroline Brehman

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