On June 6, 2021, the second round of the presidential election in Peru will pit a candidate of the radical left, Pedro Castillo, against Keiko Fujimori, a figure of the muscular right. In a tense political context, the bishop of the military has called for blocking communism.
“To support a communist is to be complicit in the atrocities committed by the Shining Path terrorists!” Bishop Juan Carlos Vera is not in the habit of splitting hairs. His letter, posted on social media on May 17, 2021, has now gone viral.
Because the bishop of the military of Peru is seeing red, since Pedro Castillo came first in the first round of the presidential election, on April 13, with more than 18% of the votes, in a poll where 17% of the voters slipped a blank or void ballot in the ballot box.
A schoolteacher from the Cajamarca region (North) and union leader, Pedro Castillo rose to prominence during a strike by teachers in 2017.
A Marxist-Leninist at heart, on the left on economic questions but on the right on social questions - he is opposed to abortion and homosexual unions - the malevolent candidate is known to be close to the Shining Path, a far-left terrorist organization that bloodied the country from the 1980s to the late 1990s.
An acquaintance denounced by the prelate: “I know what the Path is, I lived it in Puquio (Ayacucho) from 1987 to 1990, I saw them murder the inhabitants of the villages without mercy, by stoning, or with a blast of dynamite, like those 10 young army soldiers killed in an ambush… Oh, my God! I lost count of the times I have picked up the shreds of the bodies of these young Peruvian soldiers!”
Also for Msgr. Vera, without question, the voters must block the Communist candidate at all costs: “Keiko is therefore the only option; she will know how to heal the wounds of the past and will fight for a free and independent Peru,” insists the prelate.
Keiko Fujimori is running for the presidency for the third time. She is the daughter of the former strongman of the country Alberto Fujimori who is currently in prison. Her father is accused - among other things - of having implemented a policy of forced sterilization of many women, as part of a plan to fight poverty in the 1990s.
Resolutely following in her father's wake, Keiko Fujimori herself has trouble with the law: an anti-corruption judge asked for a thirty year sentence for her last March for money laundering and participating in organized crime.
The gap between the two candidates has narrowed considerably a few weeks before the ballot where anything is possible. The Peruvian bishop for the military, for his part, wants to believe it: “our homeland is threatened with losing its identity and especially its Catholic religion: let us ask Our Lady of Mercy to free us from communism,” he declares.
June 6 promises to be a long and trying day for Bishop Vera and Peruvian Catholics.