Accused of forming a macho government, Peru’s president apologizes

Accused of forming a macho government, Peru’s president apologizes

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Accused of forming a macho government, Peru’s president apologizes

Peru’s Council of Ministers is chaired by Guido Bellido, a leftist with a history of verbal abuse and homophobic and sexist comments.| Photo: EFE

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, made a mea-culpa on Friday (3) for having formed a cabinet with little female representation. He said his government will empower women to assume public office.

During a meeting with mayors in Lima, Castillo apologized because “in the beginning of the government a greater number of men in the cabinet was considered”. “But I will correct myself. In the framework of the next administrations, we have to include women”, commented the president.

In the Council of Ministers, chaired by Guido Bellido, there are only two ministers in a total of 18 ministries, which has been the target of criticism since the president took office on 29 July. Castillo declared that he will “strengthen the voice of women” and that, during his government, they will be given more power so that “in the next administrations there will be more women mayors, so that women assume more public positions”.

Verbal aggression against deputy

Castillo’s words were especially sensitive after his chief of staff, Guido Bellido, was accused by lawmaker and third vice president of Congress, Patricia Chirinos, of having said, before taking office, during a parliamentary coordination meeting: “Only you need to be raped”.

The congresswoman denounced the verbal attack in statements to the radio station “RPP”, but the incident had already been reported several days earlier by the opposition, something Bellido considered “false” and “fraudulently defamatory”.

homophobia and sexism

Bellido, a member of the leftist party Peru Livre and who last week received the trust of Congress, is currently the target of widespread criticism both for his political positions and for homophobic and sexist statements made in the past.

Since taking office on July 29, Bellido has tried to disentangle himself from that image, apologized and pleaded ignorance about some sensitive issues for government partners, the moderate-left Congress and liberal groups.

The Peruvian right also harshly criticized Bellido for his homophobic and sexist positions.