Is the End of the Fujimori Constitution Coming in Peru?
By Andres Kogan Valderrama
HAVANA TIMES – Two months after the Peruvian congress removed President Pedro Castillo from office, after he carried out a failed self-coup, we have witnessed large popular mobilizations throughout the country against the government of Dina Boluarte, who has dedicated herself to criminalize protests and brutally violating human rights, with thousands injured and costing the lives of dozens of people.
Hence, the response of this new dictatorial government, made up of the country’s right-wing sectors, apparently is not taking into account the enormous political consequences such can have in the country, with popular demands quickly moving from the departure of Boluarte to a new constituent process, as has happened in several countries in the region.
I mention it, since in the first place they do not realize that Castillo, unlike the previous ousted presidents and the congress itself, has significant popular support, seeing him closer to the people, so trying to install from the elites a War discourse against an internal enemy, as happened in Chile in 2019, will only generate more mobilizations in this regard.
It could be said that Boluarte is seeking to advance the presidential elections for this year, but that does not change anything, since the root of the problem is how the country was structured in an undemocratic way in the last 30 years, through a constitution made for the dictator Alberto Fujimori in 1993, which created the bases of an exclusive neoliberal model, managed by a business elite from Lima.
For the same reason, since the so-called transition in Peru, from 2001 onwards, little or nothing has mattered about the election of different presidents, since the problem has always been an illegitimate constitution, which although some reforms have been made, has left its extractive matrix intact and completely subordinated to transnational capital.
On the other hand, it must also be said, as Anahí Durand a sociologist and former Minister for Women and Vulnerable Populations, rightly says, Pedro Castillo was not only never accepted as president by the right from the first day he took office, but also he has shown an enormous inability to broaden alliances and build a discourse that is capable of adding more sectors to support his government, evidencing a type of classic left closed in on itself and completely rigid.
However, the issue goes far beyond what happens with an unprepared politician like Castillo, but rather on how this social revolt in Peru is pressing and pushing more and more towards a constituent process, where the congress, like in Chile in 2019, must give in and call a plebiscite that allows the people to decide whether or not they want a new constitution.
For now, and in response to this, the government and the large, concentrated media continue to oppose this historical demand, pointing out in a racist and conspiratorial manner that it is a plan of terrorist sectors, Sandinistas and even led by Evo Morales, despite the fact that according to surveys the vast majority of Peruvians want a constituent assembly.
As a result, the government is gambling the protests will subside without seeing that the discussion about a new democratic constitution in Peru is becoming more and more inevitable, leaving behind the neoliberal Fujimori constitution, sold to the world to be like the Chilean one, as the one that allowed the country to move forward.
That is, to install the neoliberal idea that thanks to the subsidiary role of the State, as it appears in article 60 of the Peruvian constitution, the country achieved high levels of economic growth, openly omitting that it has been thanks to the high price raw materials, particularly minerals.
Likewise, these conservative sectors say nothing about the enormous inequality, segregation and territorial dispossession that has generated a model of socially and environmentally unsustainable accumulation, where women, workers, native peoples, regions, and nature have suffered the consequences.
Given this, the time has come for the Peruvian congress to realize that the repression only aggravates a growing discontent and understand that the social pact is broken. Therefore, the reforms behind four walls are useless. Only a democratic call for a plebiscite that asks the Peruvian people whether or not they want a new constitution, opening the possibility of leaving behind the illegitimate constitution of 1993.