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PUCP on expressions of Aníbal Torres to Pedro Barreto: “They are prejudiced and offensive”

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The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) spoke about the controversial statements made by the head of the PCM, Hannibal Torresto José Flores Castañeda —sympathizer of an ethnocacerist movement—, where he described the Cardinal and Archbishop of Huancayo, Pedro Barreto, from “miserable”. Given this, the aforementioned university rejected the expressions of the president of the Council of Ministers and remarked that they are “prejudicial and offensive”.

“The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru categorically rejects the prejudiced and offensive expressions made by the President of the Council of Ministers, Dr. Aníbal Torres, to refer to Cardinal Pedro Barreto SJ, Archbishop of Huancayo and Grand Chancellor of our house of study”, reads in the statement.

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They also point out that “by trying to disqualify people”, the head of the PCM, Aníbal Torres, evidences “a painful rejection of dialogue, the basis of democracy and the only way to overcome the serious difficulties that the country is going through.”

They emphasize that this type of attitude needs to be corrected, “even more so when they come from an authority such as the prime minister.” The house of studies calls for the exercise of tolerance and respect to strengthen “democratic institutions and our international community.”

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Aníbal Torres called Pedro Barreto “miserable”

In the interview he recently gave to the digital medium Flores Castaneda, Anibal Torres declared that in previous days he spoke with Cardinal Barreto and assured that he was in favor of the “far right”.

“There we have a priest (…) the priest Valverde. Sorry, I was wrong, the priest who is an authority in Huancayo, that at this moment I forgot his name, this person can be so miserable. I have talked with him in previous days and he believes that one is stupid, that he does not realize it. Of course, what is in favor of that power group in Peru, it never speaks in favor of the great majorities, it does not mention what we are doing,” said the prime minister.

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However, at the press conference that took place this April 20, after the Council of Ministers, the premier pointed out that his comments were a popular saying and that I had not intended to insult to the Archbishop of Huancayo, Pedro Barreto.

“In an interview they did to me, I didn’t remember the name of the cardinal and so I said: ‘This person can be so miserable that I don’t even remember his name’ or something like that. It is a popular saying that is used anywhere, also in Lima. He does not remember the name of the person and says it. That has been, but not with the intention of offending”, said Aníbal Torres.

The Presidency of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference He manifested himself through a statement, showing his rejection and appealed for respect for dignity. He indicated that although everyone has the right to express themselves, this freedom cannot be used against a person.

“The defense of the human person and respect for their dignity are the supreme goal of society and the State (Art. 1, Political Constitution of Peru). In the same way, everyone has the right to freedom of expression (Art. 2.4) but cannot use it to harm the dignity of a person”, reads the letter.

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