Peru: A Country Where the Peasant Presence is Uncomfortable

Ollantay Itzamná Castillo Terrones. President of Peru

The political and cultural system of the gamonal creole state is facing a historical possibility of being transformed by a peasant government, both symbolically and materially, to respond to the multicultural reality of the country.

In 1821, the territorial jurisdiction of the former Viceroyalty of Lima was converted into a Peruvian Republic to materially and symbolically benefit the Creoles and subsequent oligarchies of the country. This republican state functioned as an appendix to the haciendas of the gamonales.

At present, this political and cultural system of the creole gamonal State is facing a historical possibility of being transformed by a peasant government, both symbolically and materially, to respond to the multicultural reality of the country.

Who should govern Peru?

Peru was created and governed so that “limeños blancos” would rule and the cholos and peasants would obey. And it is precisely this constitutive and organizing principle of the Creole republican system of the country that is being challenged with the mere presence of the Peasant Pedro Castillo as President in the Bicentennial of Peru.

During the 2021 electoral campaign, the middle class (traditional and emerging), and the great majority of provincials accumulated in Lima (looking for the “Lima dream”), kept looking at the hat of the then presidential candidate Pedro Castillo, but never paid enough attention to his proposals for change. That is why the current discomfort and annoyance when Castillo begins to implement what he promised.

The truth is that this peasant with a white hat, who comes from the “clandestine nation”, with the aroma of Andean sweat and with “subaltern” aesthetics, is now the President of Peru. A country where several countries coexist without knowing or meeting each other.

What offends the Peruvian Creole bosses the most?

If the consummation of the election/triumph of the Andean peasant was already an offense to the oligarchy and the limeñada, the protocol acts of the transfer of power (with the marked presence of figures such as Evo Morales), the presidential speech of the peasant, and the conformation of the Cabinet of Ministers, offended the Peruvian bosses to a great extent.

But, according to the reactions, those offended were not only the mothball-smelling bosses, but also the limeñidad acriollada, and the provincial alimeñados, when they saw that the Cabinet of Ministers would be presided over by none other than another Andean peasant: Guido Bellido (Congressman). The former feel that the State is in danger, while the latter, who believe they are “born to perform public functions”, feel that their captive labor market is disappearing.

Both the bosses of Peru, as well as the self-conscious limeños and provincials, until last July 30, assumed that Pedro Castillo would be a peasant President who could be domesticated to the hegemonic economic and cultural interests. “Let him be President, but we will continue to appoint the ministers and officials,” they said, but it was not so. The insubordinate peasant was also insubordinate with the conformation of his ministerial Cabinet. And these symbolic changes are beginning to worry them greatly.

In the end, it is the fear of losing cultural and material privileges “naturalized” in the Creole Republic, founded on a lacerating racism that constitutes their false superior identity of Creoles and acriollados over the great social and cultural majorities of the peoples of Peru.

They are afraid that the ruler in the white hat will govern well and defeat them morally and intellectually from within the same exclusionary State that the bosses designed. But, the worst fear is the process of the Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly that President Castillo has already announced. They are afraid of a Peru of all nationalities!

The peasant President Pedro Castillo appointed Guido Bellido, an indigenous peasant elected as Congressman for Cusco, as Prime Minister, and Peruvians, especially media opinion makers, reacted by questioning this decision, even demanding the immediate dismissal of the Minister. However, let the government of change make and execute its decisions. There will be time to question.