Security & Strategic Review - December 2021

PERU: Alleged military interference topples defence minister

Embroiled in an escalating scandal over his alleged interference in military promotions, Peru’s defence minister, Walter Ayala, resigned on 14 November. His resignation came after a congressional inquiry had been opened into the replacement of the army’s general commander, José Vizcarra Álvarez, allegedly following Vizcarra’s refusal to promote two colonels close to President Pedro Castillo. With congress’s defence committee having voted to pass its findings to the attorney general’s office, Ayala is now facing the possibility of a criminal investigation. The scandal has the potential to be highly damaging for the government, given the Peruvian Right’s use of scare tactics in this year’s election campaign to depict Castillo as an aspiring authoritarian.

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