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Peru gets its first female president after Pedro Castillo is impeached – watch out for copper prices

Peru gets its first female president after Pedro Castillo is impeached – watch out for copper prices

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By Sriram Iyer  Dec 8, 2022 8:00:44 AM IST (Updated)

Peru President Pedro Castillo has been impeached and arrested and Dina Boluarte has become the country’s first female President. For the markets, the crisis in Peru may be important because it makes for nearly 15% of the world’s copper exports as per 2020 data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The South American country, Peru, has just seen a significant political upheaval. Pedro Castillo has been impeached and arrested and Dina Boluarte, a 60-year old lawyer, has become the country’s first female President. For the markets, the crisis in Peru may be important because it makes for nearly 15% of the world’s copper exports as per 2020 data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Even before the crisis spiralled to this moment in Peru, both the mining giant Glencore and the global investment bank Goldman Sachs have predicted a severe shortage of copper in the coming year. This could affect companies that make automobile parts, electric vehicles, batteries, computers, home appliances, telecommunication applications, and almost any product where wiring is an important element. India is a net importer of copper, according to the same OECD data.
Other key exports from Peru include gold, refined copper, refined petroleum oils, and inedible meat flour.
What happened in Peru?
The latest political crisis in Peru is a continuation of a series of events that have led to four Presidents since 2020. Castillo, a left-wing former school teacher, was elected in June 2021 and since then, he’s mired in charges of corruption. He has survived two impeachment proceedings in the last 18 months and a third one was due when he decided to make a dramatic move.
On December 7, Castillo declared a state of emergency in Peru, and that the Congress, which is controlled by his rivals, will be dissolved. Many of his own ministers resigned in protest. The sequence of events that followed ended in Castillo’s ouster and Boluarte taking over as the country’s President.
According to Wikipedia, Boluarte has been the head of an autonomous organisation called the  National Registry of Identification and Civil Status as a lawyer and head of the office since 2007. She contested elections for the Mayor’s post in one of the districts in the Peruvian capital of Lima in 2018, but lost. She also ran for a seat in the Congress in 2020 but did not make it.

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