Peruvian president purges Armed Forces command; names new military chiefs
Peruvian president Pedro Castillo renewed the Armed Forces Joint Command, with the appointment of a new chief and new heads in the Army, Navy and Air Force. The new Joint Command will be headed by the up to now Army commander, General Manuel Gomez de la Torre, and replaced him in the Army with his second in command, General Jose Vizcarra
Castillo was forced to name a new head of the Joint Command following the stepping down of General Cesar Astudillo, who had requested former president Francisco Sagasti (2020/2021), to relieve him from the post before the new president took office. Castillo then decided to also change the heads of the Air Force and Navy.
In the Air Force he named Brigadier Jorge Chaparro, who was until now second in command, but in the Navy changes went deeper, he picked V/A Alberto Alcalá, who was no immediate successor, but down in the list of top officers. In effect this apparently was because retired naval officers led a group which called on the Armed Forces not to recognize Castillo as the elected president. Among ‘rebellious” officers identified were ex admirals Jorge Montoya and Jose Cueto, who are currently sitting in congress as elected members representing a radical extreme right wing party.
Apparently the campaign to impede elected president Castillo from taking office involved Vladimir Montesinos, advisor of a former Peruvian dictator and sentenced to 25 years in jail, currently at a top security prison, under the Navy’s jurisdiction. It was discovered that Montesinos had access to several cellular phones and was trying to bribe members of the Peruvian Electoral Board arguing fraud in the presidential election, so that runner up, conservative Keiko Fujimori would be then be nominated as the winner.