Pedro Castillo: the poor village teacher who became president

Today, he was sworn in as Peru’s new head of state

Pedro Castillo was sworn in as Peru’s new president, Reuters reported.

Castillo was a poor village teacher who came out of anonymity four years ago when he led a teachers’ strike, recalls AFP. He is the first Peruvian president without any ties to the country’s political, economic and cultural elites. The 51-year-old union leader, backed by the radical left, was declared the winner on July 19th after a highly contested election against his populist right-wing opponent, Keiko Fujimori.

In his first speech as head of state, Castillo announced that he would work for the adoption of a new constitution for the country, Reuters reported.

He said he wanted Peru’s economy to be in order and predictable, and promised to bring order to the mining sector, as well as more funds to the country’s education system, which is in crisis.

One of the first measures Castillo announced was the creation of a ministry of science and technology.

He said the state-owned Petroperu company would work to regulate the final price of natural gas.

Catstillo also called for better regulation of the media in the country.

The new head of state said that the free trade agreements that Peru has concluded so far need to be improved so as to prioritize national interests.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the presidents of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, the King of Spain, a US delegation and the Cuban Foreign Minister.

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