WorldPeruvian minister resigns after partying during the pandemic, in the fourth resignation...

Peruvian minister resigns after partying during the pandemic, in the fourth resignation of the Castillo government

Castillo’s Cabinet, presented on October 6th.Presidencia del Perú (EFE/Presidencia del Perú)

Peruvian Interior Minister Luis Barranzuela resigned after two days of controversy for having held a party at his home on Sunday night, Day of Creole Song and Halloween, despite a government decree banning social gatherings. The rule, approved in July, seeks to prevent the increase in covid-19 contagion. Last week, anticipating the festive day, the Ministry of the Interior itself reminded citizens that it was forbidden to organize meetings in their homes.

Barranzuela is the fourth member of the Executive to resign for some kind of scandal since the beginning of President Pedro Castillo’s government. With the minister’s departure, Castillo, on the verge of completing 100 days in office, got rid of another trusted man of Vladimir Cerrón, the leader and founder of Free Peru, who invited the rural teacher to be a presidential candidate for his left-wing party. and who threatened to be a president in the shadows.

“I announce that I have received and accepted the resignation of Interior Minister Luis Barranzuela. In the next few hours, I will take the oath of the successor. Our commitment remains to guarantee the country’s governability”, announced the president on Twitter two minutes after the minister announced his departure through the same social network.

Barranzuela’s party, with loud music, upset neighbors in the Surco district, who complained to the municipal police. The Latina television channel even recorded images of the celebration, of a person who was taking care of the door and had a crystal goblet in his hand, and of guests who left quickly trying to avoid the cameras.

On Monday, Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez asked the Interior Minister for an explanation. Barranzuela denied that he had held a party and claimed that it was a work meeting. At the end of the day, Vásquez called Barranzuela’s explanations unacceptable and said that on Tuesday, when the president returned from a trip, “the appropriate measures would be taken”.

Barranzuela tried until the end to keep his position. In his defense came Free Peruvian congressman Guillermo Bermejo, also linked to Cerrón, who told the press on Monday that Creole music at full volume came from a neighboring house, not from the minister’s residence. The congressman was one of those who participated in the meeting in Surco and left in a hurry to avoid the approach of journalists. An attempt was also made to maintain the alibi at noon on Tuesday, when a resident of the house next to the minister’s told the press that on Sunday night she had been drinking with her husband and that her music, not the minister’s, was what had irritated the neighborhood.

Dressed in a yellow robe, the woman appeared on camera to show a playlist on her cell phone and a medium-sized speaker in her house. Hours later, the same television channel that recorded the images of the Sunday party dismantled the alibi by showing, in this recording, the same neighbor standing on her porch. She had also been recorded taking her dog out on the street on that occasion. The version in favor of Cerrón’s former lawyer collapsed within hours.

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