Security & Strategic Review - September 2021

PERU: Castillo takes office with unorthodox security plan

Amid great speculation about the economic plans of Peru’s new leftist President Pedro Castillo, who was sworn into office on 28 July, the security proposals outlined in his inauguration speech received comparatively little attention. Castillo announced his intention to introduce mandatory military service for young people not in work or education, and said he would seek to expand controversial citizens’ militias that aim to tackle crime. He takes office at a delicate moment, with a real risk that the extreme polarisation unleashed during the election campaign could lead to violence. He will also inherit an inbox filled with Peru’s longstanding security woes, including drug production, corruption, environmental crimes, and the remnants of the Sendero Luminoso (SL) guerrilla group, which massacred 18 people in May.

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