We spoke briefly with the Prime Minister, Aníbal Torres, about the confrontation with the congressional opposition and the precarious governance.
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Prime Minister Aníbal Torres has made the confrontation with the Congress one of its discursive axes; but we talked to him. However, we spoke with him and he found out that he will promote a meeting with his next president.
Last Sunday, the closest thing to a successful plan that we have seen in the government of Pedro Castillo was carried out. This was not to appear on the scene, but the Prime Minister Aníbal Torres and the loyal ministers. Everything was put together very quickly, between Friday and Saturday, with the idea of executing it on Saturday night. They thought better of it and postponed it to Sunday at 8pm, to blame the Sunday anti-castilliers live and direct.
At the climax of open TV, Torres analyzed, 'bite' by 'bite', the audios in which César Acuña unintentionally ruins Lady Camones. The distribution of the chairs was well calculated. In the first row, there was Torreswith some of the ministers made official as spokespersons by RM 238-2022 PCM (Alejandro Salas, Roberto Sánchez, Félix Chero and Rosendo Serna). The Minister of Economy, Kurt Burneo, was also there as a decoy, since Torres opened the conference saying that the government is concerned about the people's emergencies, hence the presence of the MEF, but he was not going to talk about that but about the opposition that does not allow to govern. Behind, sat some ministers whose grimaces of indifference were barely distinguishable. The MR is not enough for them, because they are not born to be spokespersons.
(A parenthesis about the spokespersons. I asked two palace sources the reason for the ministerial resolution and got two answers: One, that the ministers who usually defend the president needed formal coverage to justify why they talked about issues outside their portfolios. The other The answer is more curious but credible for those of us who followed the character. The former Minister of the Environment, Modesto Montoya, without being a spokesperson, spoke more than necessary and that annoyed the others. Kurt Burneo is not from the spokesperson group, since he already raised his limits of tolerance when he said that he would resign from the MEF if another anti-technical barbarity is perpetrated, such as lowering the VAT on restaurants.They have decided to respect it because on August 9 a round with business associations began that has generated some confidence in the management of the MEF< /b>in the midst of the storm. That is the impression I got after talking with one of the businessmen present. In addition, he has just presented the Impulsa Peru reactivation plan and does not want to be disturbed by an Alejandro Salas announcing a promise as reckless as the annual automatic readjustment of the minimum wage.)
Aníbal Torres, Félix Chero and other ministers, at the conference on Sunday the 4th, blaming Congress and the prosecution.
Hello, prime minister
This chronicler routinely sends messages to PCM officials asking someone, with the permission by Hannibal Torres, give me some keys to tell where the Executive is aiming. I'm getting used to being left on seen or, worse, that the double WhatsApp check turns into just one, an unequivocal sign that I've been blocked for charging. This week, I left this question to several: In addition to confronting Congress like last Sunday and defending the president, have you established some lines of dialogue with the opposition in favor of governability?
I was lucky. An official from the PCM called me and put me on the phone, for a few minutes, with the prime minister. I repeated, to Aníbal Torres , the question I left in writing and asked him to quote it. He accepted and this was his response: “We have always promoted dialogue, with civil society and with the justice administration system. You see, when Lady Camones was elected Speaker of Congress, I wrote her a letter inviting her to a meeting with the President. She replied that she was busy”. In effect, Camones said that she was concentrating on the installation of the commissions and asked to reschedule the appointment, which had been proposed for August 3. That same day, Torres resigned on Twitter (wait for me to ask him about that later) and the initiative to get together dog and cat was diluted. To top it off, on August 5, Lady received the Nation's prosecutor, Patricia Benavides, in her office, which was interpreted in the Palace as the thunder of war drums. And they thundered theirs.
“When, in a few days, we know who is the president of the < i>Congress, we will do the same”, Torres concludes the idea, promising that they will seek to meet with whoever replaces Camones. And what would they talk about, do they have some essential points, a minimum agenda to promote? I ask. The prime minister takes a few seconds before answering: “For example, we have a bill that we sent months ago, on the question of trust and the declaration of permanent moral incapacity. Sure, they took the issue of trust but not the other. It is that for the Congress everything we do is wrong, there is a lot of hatred, a lot of resentment, we must overcome that. I denounced irregularities in the administration of justice and they denounced me”.
The dialogue will be short, so I just point out that the hatred between the political forces is mutual and I ask the prime minister: you resigned, you stayed at the request of the president, and now you have taken on new life declaring against the opposition; Have you established a deadline to wait for someone to replace you? “I have said it clearly, I accepted the president to collaborate in the Minjus, for a certain time; I considered it that way again for the PCM but I have had to stay to defend the country”. I ask him if this permanence has a planned term, but Torres does not specify it. Instead, he lists what he considers the blows they receive from the opposition, from the media and “from those who never wanted to accept that Pedro Castilloand they spend their time trying to get him out.”
The scenario of confrontation that the Prime Minister himself describes to me is so difficult to sustain for one and the other, I remind you that once you told, in a bluff tone, that they had considered a project to advance elections. Would they do it now, seriously, contributing to a political solution? “It was an informal conversation, we had the purpose of seeing if it could be discussed in the council of ministers, but it was not done; We scrap the idea. Now the Congress can discuss that, it's their power. But with such a tight opposition, we don't know what could happen. We're leaving, and who stays to make urgent changes?”. The prime minister staunchly defends the continuity of the regime.
I told Aníbal Torres that a conciliatory gesture, in the middle of the confrontation, would be to assume that the various accusations of corruption advise, for example, to remove Minister Geiner Alvarado before they censor him. “The minister has been challenged, it is the power of the Congress which we will respect.”He responds the same to me in the case of Willy Huerta. He doesn't tell me if there will be more cabinet changes than those forced by the censorship. Instead, he tells me about projects that dazzle him, such as the “hot houses” in the Sierra Sur and the “technical high school.” It is unusual, at this juncture, to hear the Prime Minister get upset about an item, but I have to change the subject to ask for definitions.
Lady Camones was a victim of her lukewarmness towards her party and the anger of her allies. The government celebrated the process of censoring her. (Photo: Congress archive)
Minister Burneo, who has already marked his field, has denied that the minimum wage will be increased annually, as the minister has said Alejandro Salas, I told Torres. “The Impulso Perú plan that has been discussed and approved in the council of ministers, and that Minister Burneo is supporting, seems very important to us. The proposal mentioned by the Minister of Labor, like any minister who can make a proposal, has not been discussed.” Before he mentions a similar case, he goes ahead: “There has also been talk of Convention, but I can assure you that in my case and that of the majority of ministers, we are opposed to giving up sovereignty over our 200 miles of territorial sea.”Oops, this is not a good time for Foreign Minister Miguel Rodríguez Mackay. At the end of these lines, his resignation was rumored.
The prime minister has not stopped bashing the opposition in our brief dialogue, despite that I remind you that there is a lot of bread to slice in the Executive. With cachita, he tells me, “now it seems that they are after some drunks who went to celebrate, right?”. He says goodbye renewing the promise to request a meeting with the next president of the Congress , to talk about governability so run down.
Let's go back to the anger and what I didn't have time to talk to the prime minister. Did the plan to encourage the downfall of Lady Camones include the genesis of what happened? That is to say, did the government conceive the project to create the district of Alto Trujillo, in combination with Acuña, or anticipating that he would go out of his way to approve it? These questions are based on conspiracy assumptions that transcend the improvisation of government officials and vacators. As far as I could find out, it was the PCM's Territorial Demarcation Secretariat, headed by Jorge Rimarachín, a former humalist congressman, who formulated the project that was approved in the council of ministers on August 26. From there it was referred to Congress.
A rule of the technocracy is not to create more districts in a country subdivided with a whopping 1,896 districts. If that principle is violated, it would have to be for an extraordinary reason. I wrote to Rimarachín asking him to explain the grounds for that exception, but he did not answer me. What a palatial source did tell me is that he has sent his superiors a memory aid to explain why a PL was conceived that interested Acuña so much. But that does not matter; the PL had a fantastic and unexpected effect. The president of the Congress fell to the ground!! Rimarachín is an accidental hero of castillismo.
It is impossible to determine where chance ends and intelligence work begins in the government of Pedro Castillo. The DINI feeds on the work of civilians and former marines, intelligence experts, who have also spread rumors among opponents, especially retired admirals Jorge Montoya and José Cueto, both from Popular Renovation, and the latter, president of the Intelligence Commission. I am not making presumptions, as they themselves have subtly boasted of being informed by sources they know from their past as sailors.
A congresswoman told me a story, which seems fantastic, but it is real as far as Congressregards. Days before April 5, members of the vacator bloc were informed by their intelligence sources of an alleged plan to attack Congress. To that end, government agents would have rented several rooms in the tatters surrounding Congress, from where they would go out to scale the walls and take over the chamber, while the police -enlisted in the conspiracy- would turn a blind eye and, once the seizure , would take out the members of the board of directors in handcuffs. The team of then-president María del Carmen Alva stocked up on supplies and some brought suitcases with personal belongings, to resist the siege in case the plan was carried out.
Difficult to know if it was a mere conspiracy theory invented by a paranoid, rumors maliciously planted by intelligence agents working with two cheeks, or a plan aborted in its conception phase. What we can be sure of is that, without firing a single tear gas canister or scaling a wall, there has been intelligence to take advantage of the audios, spreading the idea that Camones had to be censored and the prosecution had to act. The vacant block has been neutralized for a week; which will presumably be followed by a truce motivated by the regional and municipal elections on October 7.
The foreseeable censorship of the Geiner ministers questioned Alvarado from Transport and Willy Huerta from the Interior; they will not be a disgrace to the Executive. It's an urgent cleanup job that Congressit will save Castillo, as I glimpsed in my dialogue with the prime minister. It is possible, yes, that they take advantage of these forced changes, to make some more; but neither Towersto 'on' nor my sources to 'off', they have given me precise names. The Magisterial Bloc is the party closest to the government and does not have a quota in the cabinet, despite the fact that it insistently requests it. Ensuring the fidelity of teachers could provoke a change that is not on the radar and not justified by the performance of the minister to be changed. The cuoteo has already displaced many cabinet technicians.
A CastleThe legal front anguishes him more than the political one. His sister-in-law/daughter is in prison and his wife is threatened with following in his footsteps. His friends are torn between loyalty and effective collaboration with tax investigations. For example, Beder Camacho asked him to leave the Palace only if he placed him in another position. Camacho asked to head Inabif, according to what Willax TV revealed, for which the new minister Claudia Dávila asked Sergio Tejada, until then head of that entity, to resign. I asked Tejada to confirm the reason for his departure and he told me that the minister simply told him that “she had instructions” , and that he no longer needed him in his position. She did not mention Camacho and did not tell Tejada that he did not meet the profile, as she later said in an interview. We can guess that the minister was very uncomfortable with the “indications” that she ambiguously mentioned to Sergio, and she has celebrated that Camacho's aspiration was leaked. But his fear has not been overcome, since government sources tell me that Camacho visited Inabif on Friday with Deputy Minister Mario Ríos Espinoza. Use this small case to describe the anguish that corrodes a president and a government that, for a few days, breathes relatively calmly seeing the opposition in a self-destructive phase.