Peru’s Congress on Monday chose legislator Francisco Sagasti as the Andean country’s caretaker president, in an attempt to defuse a sharp political crisis after angry protests and the departure of two presidents in the past week. Sagasti, 76, from the centrist Morado Party, won enough votes to head Congress, which means he will constitutionally assume the presidency of Peru ahead of national elections called for April.
Peru’s interim president Manuel Merino resigned on Sunday after less than a week in office, leaving the country in limbo following lawmakers’ demands he steps down over two deaths during protests at the sudden ouster of his predecessor. The latest political shake-up comes as Peru, the world’s No. 2 copper producer, battles the coronavirus pandemic and what is expected to be its worst economic contraction in a century.
At least 48 people were killed in a crash in Peru, Tuesday, when a tractor-trailer hit a coach bus, causing the bus to fall 330 feet down a cliff. Peru’s health ministry claims six survivors have been found. The accident happened on a stretch of road known as Curva del Diablo, or the devil’s bend.
Former Peruvian President Alan García shot himself in the head and died Wednesday moments after police arrived at his home to arrest him on corruption allegations in Latin America’s largest graft probe. President Martin Vizcarra announced the death on Twitter, saying that doctors in the capital city of Lima performed emergency surgery and tried three times to resuscitate Garcia. The scandal has touched nearly every living former president.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski announced his resignation amid a corruption scandal, weeks before President Trump was to visit for a summit on improving governance in the Americas. Kuczynski’s resignation came a day after a video showed key allies attempting to buy the support of opposition lawmakers, and a day before a congressional impeachment vote against him.
Just over a month after he was released from prison and pardoned from his 25-year sentence, sparking protests, former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori has been ordered to stand trial for a 1992 massacre in which six farmers were killed. Fujimori claims he is innocent and will appeal against the court ruling.