The president of the Assembly of Regional Governments and governor of Cusco, Jean Paul Benavente, reflects on the demands of the interior of the country to Executive power and the Congress and the political crisis that affects the development of the country. In addition, it evaluates ministerial changes and urges President Pedro Castillo to respond to justice.
How does the ANGR view the recent cabinet changes?
We told President Castillo that in order to get out of this political crisis, a process of national unity was required, insisting on the meeting in the National Agreement with different sectors, that it was a condition that sooner or later will have to be met, and we invoked him that the reorganization of the cabinet was essential. He said that there was already a framework for those changes, which he already made.
Do they satisfy the ANGR?
Not necessarily. We emphasize that compliance with the regions behind the decentralized councils requires suitable staff, especially in Transport, Energy and Mines, Agriculture and Health. In Energy and Mines, we hope that the new minister will generate dialogue, with her experience, and the same in the mass use of gas and the energy issue. In Transport, the minister proposed to carry out a restructuring due to the complaints, we believe it would be interesting to carry out a purge there. In Interior, we have seen interesting capacity of the new minister. he worries us Agriculture. We wanted someone with experience who can drive agricultural policy in this food security emergency. We don’t see that.
Should they change it?
I think the president should evaluate that position.
What do you find in your evaluation of the progress of agreements of the decentralized councils?
That the agreements are not being fulfilled and that an overload is generated that will not be able to respond with the immediacy with which they have been committed, and will probably fall again into populist proposals when it is necessary to build a country agenda and that in the immediate term issues are addressed to resolve the crisis, such as the delivery of fertilizers. That was promised a month ago and so far no solid steps have been taken to save this agricultural campaign, among other problems. That is a categorical example.
What urgent demands are the governors making to Castillo now mainly?
That he summon his Minister of Economy and the instances that can expedite investments in the regions and municipalities. We are at 18% progress in execution at all levels of government and we need employment and income for the population. A good engine that can drive some growth is public investment and it is not given attention. We need an emergency regulatory framework.
They say that the Prosecutor’s Office would investigate Castillo. What do you think?
That he firmly define and be able to acquiesce to the processes that establish him as any political authority, appear in court, and we call on the justice system to carry out the due process. Due to immunity, they cannot sentence him now, but he could, for his health and that of the country, respond to justice.
How do you see Congress?
It is not in tune with the need for national unity. He shows a very radical posture with that appetite for vacancy, censorship, questioning, and greater instability and uncertainty in the country. It is not giving an agenda that the country requires: political reformsjustice and economic impact issues.
He censured Betssy Chávez for a strike and her involvement in tourism. What does she think?
Surely Congress had the obligation to do so because it has already called several ministers to interpellation, beyond the questionable nature of the paralysis. There was affectation. An error, however involuntary, should have been assumed.
What do you think of the recent shielding of Edgar Alarcón?
It is another of the bad signs to the country. They delay the processes to later go into filing and generate a feeling of impunity for those who allegedly committed corruption.
How do you foresee the complications due to the food crisis in the interior of the country?
Very worrying. A proposal for an emergency declaration for the food security of the country should already be dictated and work should be done on the production and acquisition of fertilizers.
The prime minister says that they will take the necessary measures. Does it give you confidence?
No, because the process that has been committed for more than a month for the purchase and distribution of fertilizer has made very little progress, almost nothing.
Cusco and southern Peru gave Castillo great support. What is the current situation?
The population in the south wants change, but they are not finding it in a government that gave them that expectation. Surely they are evaluating that support they gave him. If the commitments of the decentralized councils are not fulfilled, it can generate social upheaval against the government.
We saw it in the mining corridor. How do you evaluate it?
It’s a sign. Their communities in more than 70% voted for Castle to express their demands for responsible mining in social and environmental matters and they have not seen the expected response.
Do you think the Constitution should be changed?
It is a debate that should not be closed. It should be on the agenda in the medium term. It is necessary to solve current problems. At another time, we must reform the Constitution. In the economic chapter, we must agree.
What distinguishes your proposal for the mass use of gas?
Congress must approve the project that will allow temporary concessions to speed up the construction of pipelines and home connections. That did not happen before because a permanent concession was required. Then, standardize prices at the cost that Lima pays.
He has investigations for his management. How are they?
We have put ourselves in law and we attend the appearances. Unfortunately the issue is mediatized and politicized. We are sure, it will become clear. We will continue to respond to justice.