Inauguration Speech of Peru President Pedro Castillo

Madame President of the Congress of the Republic, Ladies and Gentlemen Congresspersons of the Republic,

Presidents of the sister republics of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, His Highness the King of Spain.

Members of the honorable diplomatic corps. Authorities present.

Women and men of my beloved Peruvian people.

I begin by greeting my brothers and sisters, descendants of the original peoples of pre-Hispanic Peru, my Quechua, Aymara and Amazonian brothers and sisters, Afro-Peruvians and the various communities of migrant descendants, as well as all the dispossessed minorities of the countryside and the city. Together, we say today, Kashkaniracmi! We still exist!

I am addressing you on this symbolic day, the 200th anniversary of the declaration of Peru’s independence, two centuries of republican life. I am immensely proud to be here today.

But although we are commemorating such a symbolic date, our history in this territory goes back much further. For five thousand years we have been the cradle of transcendental civilizations and cultures. Important and extensive states such as the Wari and, later, the Tawantinsuyo [Incas] flourished in our lands. For four and a half millennia, our ancestors found ways to solve their problems and live in harmony with the rich nature that providence offered them.

It was like this until the arrival of the men of Castile, who with the help of multiple felipillos [those who aided the conquistadores], and taking advantage of a moment of chaos and disunity, managed to conquer the state that until that moment dominated a large part of the central Andes.

The defeat of the Inca Empire marked the beginning of the colonial era. It was then, and with the founding of the viceroyalty, that the castes and differences that persist to this day were established.

The three centuries in which this territory belonged to the Spanish crown allowed it to exploit the minerals that sustained the development of Europe, largely with the labor of the grandparents of many of us.

The repression of the just revolt of Túpac Amaru and Micaela Bastidas [wife of Túpac Amaru] ended up consolidating the racial regime imposed by the viceroyalty; it put an end to the Andean elites and further subordinated the majority of the indigenous inhabitants of this rich country.

Forty years later, the independence of the Viceroyalty of Peru from Spain in 1821 brought no real improvement for the majority of Peruvians. The so-called aborigines continued to be exploited as second-class citizens for the treasury of the brand new Republic of Peru. Over time, to the old Afro-Peruvian community brought by force, was added the one coming from China and then from Japan, blood that enriched our veins, but also carries with it pain. These are not stories of a remote past. Until very late in the twentieth century, those who were identified as “Indians” continued to contribute to the state in work known as road conscription, while in the Amazon many peoples voluntarily isolated themselves in the face of the ferocious advance of the rubber tappers who imposed regimes of slavery and violence, which were widely recorded in the famous English report called the Blue Book.

Until the 1960s, many haciendas were sold with peasants inside. Countless Peruvians continued to live in servitude.

It was not until the 1979 constitution that all adults were able to exercise the right to vote.

The popular organization achieved advances in the access to rights, a process that was truncated by the coup d’état of 1992, which laid the foundations for a curtailment of rights, a weakening of the State and for the rules that govern to this day.

Since then, our country has believed in various governments that came to power thanks to the popular vote, but which nevertheless failed the people.

This time a government of the people has arrived to govern with the people and for the people, to build from the bottom up. It is the first time that our country will be governed by a peasant, a person who belongs like many Peruvians to the sectors oppressed for so many centuries. It is also the first time that a political party formed in the interior of the country, wins the elections democratically and that a teacher, more precisely a rural teacher, is elected to be Constitutional President of the Republic. It is difficult to express the great honor that this means to me.

I want you to know that the pride and pain of deep Peru run through my veins. That I am also a son of this country founded on the sweat of my ancestors, erected on the lack of opportunities of my parents and that in spite of that I also saw them resist. That my life was made in the cold of the early mornings in the countryside and that it was also these country hands that carried and rocked my children when they were small. That the history of that Peru so long silenced is also my history. That I was that child from Chota who studied in the rural school N10475 in the hamlet of Chugur. That today I am here so that this story is no longer the exception.

I want you to know that you have my word:

We will not let you down. I will not let you down.

Our policy lines:

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving life and health
Our first great task is to continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit our country so hard. On this date, I do not want to fail to remember all the Peruvians who are no longer with us, and those who miss them today. We will honor their memory by ensuring that this is a priority.

The mutations of the virus are still surprising scientists around the world. This is not over, but I am absolutely certain that we will move forward, building on what has been advanced, listening to science and putting the welfare of Peruvians first.

It is our turn to govern at a time of enormous gravity for Peru. We must maximize our efforts to achieve the vaccination of our entire population in the shortest possible time.

Health is a fundamental right that the State must guarantee. Physical and mental health will be the first priority of the government. We will establish a universal, unified, free, decentralized and participatory health system. Primary healthcare will be prioritized in order to strengthen prevention and bring healthcare closer to the population. We will improve the capacity of healthcare centers and healthcare posts, and we will promote the creation of 5,000 comprehensive community healthcare teams, which will have a territorial criterion, so that no Peruvian family is left without medical coverage. We must strengthen hospital care. At the end of my term, I will deliver specialized hospitals by region, among which we will prioritize: mother-child hospitals, neoplastic hospitals, clinical-surgical hospitals, tropical medicine hospitals and oral health hospitals. In order to bring health care to all Peruvians, we have to work in coordination with all levels of government, each one in its own role. Therefore, I call on the regional governors to prepare their records and locate the land where these hospitals will be built.

We will also begin with the construction of the San Juan de Lurigancho and VRAEM hospitals.

We must put an end to the centralism that causes millions of Peruvians to have to travel to Lima for a medical consultation. We also need to value the work of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to healthcare. Who has not been moved by their efforts and sacrifices during this last year? Hundreds have died during the pandemic, and we owe it to them as well.

To those who work in the healthcare field, I want them to know that they have an ally in this government. No more precarious jobs. The country needs to maintain the commitment and contribution of healthcare workers and professional associations. We will develop the capacities that the country needs and we will decentralize the human resources of this sector. And to all Peruvian men and women, I say that their health and wellbeing is our priority.

Economic reactivation
In the last 30 years there has been much discussion about the shortcomings of the economic model implemented in the 1990s. In spite of this, no government listened to the discontent of the majority and thus refused to make the changes desired by the population. But the pandemic ended up making it clear that the criticisms of the economic model were not only legitimate, but also valid. Today, the population is demanding changes and is not willing to give them up.

Now, is it true that these changes imply putting at risk the achievements made with the effort of all Peruvians during the last decades? No, it does not. It is possible to make these changes responsibly, respecting private property, but also putting the interests of the nation first. And that is what we are aiming at. Because we want to build a more prosperous country, but also a fairer country. A country where greater generation of wealth and wellbeing is distributed more equitably among all Peruvians. That is the commitment that today, July 28, on our bicentennial, that our government assumes.

Today, we urgently need the recovery of jobs and family incomes, which requires a thorough reactivation of the economy. Unfortunately, during the electoral campaign, people have tried to scare the population with the story that we wanted to expropriate savings, houses, automobiles, factories and other assets owned by citizens, which is totally false. We will do nothing of the sort because we want the economy to maintain order and predictability, which is the basis for investment decisions. People’s property, obtained with effort and within the framework of legality, is guaranteed by the State.

What we advocate is to put an end to the abuses of monopolies, of consortiums that corrupt and charge artificially high amounts for basic goods and services, as has happened with domestic gas and medicines, or when financial entities charge up to 200% for consumer credit. Thus, for example, the Banco de la Nación should be able to provide citizens with all available banking services at reasonable rates, which will allow them to compete effectively in this market, but without usury. We do not even remotely intend to nationalize our economy nor to implement an exchange control policy. We only want the economy of families, especially those with lower incomes, to be more stable and prosperous; that large companies do not cheat the Treasury through tax evasion or avoidance; that the State fulfills its supervisory and defensive function of the environment, the consumer, and society. I do not believe that any true Peruvian can be against this purpose.

The Lava Jato case is a blemish that will haunt us for a long time. We have to banish corruption, but for that we have to punish harshly and swiftly all those who participate in it. In the aforementioned case we have seen many officials, even up to three former presidents of the country, involved, two of whom have been arrested, but paradoxically we do not see any businessman in prison. Some were for a few days, but now they are free and even out of the country. This is not correct.

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Promoting investment and a new way of doing projects in Peru
Peru is a country with a millennial mining and agricultural tradition. All the cultures that flourished in the territory have left us a sample of their skills, which today is part of the heritage of all of us. However, today there is a critical anomaly in the mining, energy, and hydrocarbon sector.

We will implement the criterion of social profitability, which is superior to social license. This means that every project must contribute, among others, by:

• Energizing the local, regional and national economy. That is to say, to generate “movement” as they say colloquially.

• To really increase the national income, promoting the net income of capital, and that the benefits are accounted for locally, where the collection of taxes or royalties is positive and relevant.

• Improve the level of employment and salaries, conditions and salaries in accordance with the International Labor Organization, and also that the local people are able to work locally.

• Work, and also that locals have access to relevant management positions.

• To carry out technology transfer. Foreign investment, foreign or extra-regional, is a means to disseminate technologies in the receiving areas. This implies strengthening the relevant institutions so that local learning becomes a reality.

• Improve income distribution, where intervention does not generate privileged groups and others excluded.

• Promote and preserve culture and the environment. Any intervention must accurately quantify mine closures and provide real guarantees for any environmental liabilities. The actors must adapt to each scenario and not the other way around. Peoples and territorial organizations must actively participate in the management of their development.

If a project has no social profitability, it simply does not happen
This means a new pact with private investors, where the State intervenes to reduce costs, facilitate processes, maintain legal security, and in exchange the local population and the country receive contributions that generate development and greater opportunities with a real care for the environment.

State participation will be promoted, as in all countries in the region, as a partner or majority executor.

The Peruvian State faces difficult challenges in the short and medium term; it needs a new way of mining in its territory. In a scenario of peace with social justice. Where each people is the protagonist of its destiny.

Main actions to be developed
In my administration we will initiate the following:

In healthcare
Facing a third wave of contagions, we have to date 16% of the population vaccinated with two doses and a very weak primary level of care. This means [we face] the enormous challenge of reaching more than 70% of the vaccinated population by the end of the year and achieving community protection. We are going to commit the entire state apparatus and with our people mobilized, we will immediately summon all regional governors and their regional directors to evaluate actions in the face of the pandemic.

Health centers and health posts will guarantee free medical attention, laboratories and exams, whether they are insured or not.

Measures will be taken to extend the opening hours for non-COVID patients up to 12 hours in the facilities of the Ministry of Health and Social Security.

Necessary measures will be taken to continue with the vaccinations, extending opening hours and extending their presence to the most populated areas of the capital cities. First level establishments will vaccinate during extended hours.

In economy
Immediately, to create one million jobs in one year, our government will implement the following measures:

Public investment and generation of temporary employment.

Activate public programs to generate employment that will also allow for the maintenance or construction of works throughout the country. To this end, it will allocate:

• Three billion soles for Municipalities and Regional Governments for the acceleration of investments.

• One billion soles to fix dirt roads to the populated centers.

• 700 million soles for the Trabaja Peru program of small municipal works intensive in employment.

• Direct and immediate transfer of financial support of 700 soles to each vulnerable family, given that the pandemic has generated many costs in education and health for families, and to this has been added, in the last month of the previous government, a rise in prices that affects family food.

The programs of credit facilities carried out in a concerted manner between the government and the Banco Central Reserva de Peru, have been allowed to sustain business sectors during the pandemic, while excluding the majority, agriculture, SMEs [small- and micro-enterprises] and consumers. Therefore, we want to sustain and expand them. In this sense:

We will extend grace periods and facilitate the rescheduling of debts to MYPES [Micro and Small Enterprises].

We will launch a new credit program specifically oriented to the protection of employment.

And we will give special attention and priority to the sectors most affected by the pandemic: agriculture, SMEs, tourism, and transportation.

Education
For the above reasons, my government, which is the government of the people and for the people, will immediately declare public education in a state of emergency, in order to recover learning and prevent inequity from continuing to grow.

This leads us to propose a set of measures that I will now detail:

A sufficient budget for Basic and Higher Public Education that will be progressively improved. We propose to increase the budget of the education sector to respond to the great educational needs of vulnerable sectors: rural, bilingual, marginalized and urban peripheries. We intend to double the budget allocation for public education in the first years of our government and increase the share of spending in the GDP.

We will improve the distribution of educational resources with equity criteria and prioritizing actions that help overcome the social differences deepened by the pandemic.

We will strengthen early childhood education, returning the Cuna Más Program to the local decentralized management units (UGEL) of the education sector, so that together with the first cycle educational services that operate with the participation of families and communities, the Early Childhood Development Program will be strenghtened.

By the first semester of the year 2022 at the latest, our schools will return to classroom activity. To this end, we will guarantee the vaccination of all teachers, promoters, assistants, and staff of educational services, the adoption of biosecurity measures in all educational institutions and programs.

We will promote the revaluation of the teaching profession, guaranteeing the initial and continuous quality training, and pertinence for the socio-cultural environments. The recognition and revaluation of the role of teachers and managers of public institutions, establishing incentives to ensure quality education for all. We consider of vital importance that the educational system has a firm base of stable teachers.

We will promote housing and Pedagogical Resource Centers for teachers in rural areas. It is time for this old aspiration to become a reality and for rural teachers, true apostles of Peruvian education, to receive a minimum of service to be able to carry out their hard and important work.

We will guarantee the improvement of the learning of children and young people, reducing the historical differences between groups; through strengthening early childhood education together with families and communities; promoting the improvement of teacher performance; guaranteeing that the National Curriculum and Curricular Plans are promoted by teachers, students, parents and the community.

Innovation will be a priority in schools and internet connectivity will be a right. Initially we will work in 800 educational institutions enabled for technical high school.

At school we will guarantee food at the initial, primary and secondary levels, prioritizing the preparation of food with nutritious local products, in such a way that at the same time economic resources will be inserted to strengthen and develop local agriculture.

We will gradually promote a policy of free admission to universities and higher education. This system works well in other countries and we believe that the same will happen here.

We will strongly promote the schools and institutes of higher technical education and in the educational institutions of basic education; also the technical training of students in the last three years of secondary education.

One billion soles will be allocated until December for the payment of the teachers’ social debt.

Mining
Putting order in mining. This means clear rules, scenarios without surprises for the actors. Using the best practices that are used in other scenarios, expelling corruption, and establishing clear and limited procedures that facilitate the exploration, exploitation, control and adequate closure of each project.

We will do our best to produce more and with greater added value.

Housing, construction and sanitation
In our Bicentennial Peru, there are three million Peruvians who do not have access to drinking water and 7.5 million who do not have access to sewage systems. Water coverage in urban areas reaches 95% of Peruvians, while in rural areas it is only 78%. Sewerage coverage is even more worrisome: while 89% of urban Peruvians have access to sanitation services, only 30% in rural areas. The water and sanitation infrastructure gap is 49 billion soles.

Our government’s commitment to Peru is to close the water and sanitation services gap 100%. For this we need a total change in the way the State serves. In the first 100 days of our government we will strengthen the execution of sustainable and quality rural sanitation works through the executing nuclei as a mechanism to promote the direct and vigilant participation of organized civil society and at the same time fight the cancer of corruption. We will facilitate the population’s access to the national program Techo Propio [social assistance program for the needy] and significantly expand the number of beneficiaries. The hope of hundreds of thousands of families to have access to a roof of their own begins to become a reality today. In addition, we will promote the formalization of rural and urban properties through a joint effort with local governments. To this end, we will simplify the regulations on land titling and sign inter-institutional agreements to carry out urban cadastral surveys in less time.

Production
We will promote and recognize industries and investments with social profitability, with specific policies for large companies, for small businesses and for the communal and cooperative sectors.

We will review the economic conditions with large fishing companies to obtain greater tax revenues for the country, and to generate greater added value and industrialization of our natural and marine resources and decent employment.

We will ensure sustainability in the exploitation of fishing resources and the productive chain for direct human consumption based on the regulation and control of the capture of marine species by large and medium-sized companies, research for sustainability and expansion and diversification of fishing for consumption, and aquaculture.

We will promote micro and small aquaculture enterprises and the implementation of industrial aquaculture parks, the production of salted anchovy, jerky and sausages with artisanal fishermen and the revival of our industry to supply our food assistance programs.

For SMEs we will implement credit funds with preferential rates through rural and municipal banks and private banks and the Banco de la Nación; with differentiated ceilings, according to the requirements of each category and sector.

We will make the requirements more flexible to facilitate access to credit and formalization of MYPES.

The State will endorse the MYPES so that they can access loans and become technified, recognizing their prestige as good payers.

Strategic alliances will be developed for technological and productive development, between the University and technical education at all levels, the CITEs [Center for Innovative Production and Technology Transfer] and the MYPES and companies, to promote technological innovation, productive chains, national industrialization and productive diversification, which will allow greater competitiveness and give added value to our raw materials in each territory.

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Agriculture and rural development
Zero hunger and malnutrition, with health and economic reactivation, promoting the consumption of healthy ecological products; for this we will promote state purchasing programs with nutritious and quality local products, to immediately combat hunger in rural and urban areas. The social organizations of soup kitchens and soup kitchens will be recognized and integrated into this ambitious national program.

For the immediate economic reactivation of the rural sector, we will allocate three billion soles for the FAE AGRO Fund [business fund for small agriculture], making it more accessible and with greater presence nationwide. Agrobanco will become an efficient engine for the development of the country’s agriculture, especially for small farmers and even family agriculture. Today less than 2.5% of the total number of farmers qualify for credit from this entity and this cannot continue.

We will implement the national plan of Industrialization and Productive Improvement of the Countryside. With the participation of the regional governments and local governments, we will redirect public funds to provide state-of-the-art equipment and technology to organized farmers.

The immediate implementation of the National Livestock Restocking Plan, which will restore productivity to more than 1.7 million livestock farming families in the coast, highlands and jungle. The best way to combat anemia will be to allow our children to eat high-quality proteins rich in iron.

Prioritize irrigation projects, as well as planting and water harvesting projects to integrate us to international markets. We will take advantage of our biodiversity for productive agricultural and industrial development.

Women and vulnerable populations
National Entrepreneurial Women’s Program that grants accessible credits to stimulate the family economy, to face the economic consequences of the pandemic that has placed women in informal, vulnerable jobs, and without social protection.

Promote the National System of Care for dependent persons—children, elderly people, people with disabilities—given that 98,000 Peruvian children have lost one of their caregivers to the pandemic.

From now on, for the children of Peru, the state will assume the financing of the integral rehabilitation of the victims of sexual violence.

We will strengthen the National Specialized Justice System for the protection and punishment of violence against women and family members. Only in an organized and coordinated manner will we achieve protection and real access to justice for victims.

Ministry of Science and Technology Innovation and the career of the scientific researcher
Due to our low level in Science, Technology and Innovation, exports corresponding to the year 2019 were composed 79% of products without added value. That percentage rose to 81% in 2020.

Due to globalization and global warming, this reality is expected to worsen.

To meet these challenges, my government will propose the creation of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation. With this ministry, the generation of knowledge necessary for Peru’s development and technological independence will be strengthened. Likewise, it will be necessary to study the possibility of a career for scientific and technological researchers in order to incorporate talented graduates and repatriate those who migrated due to lack of opportunities.

Science and technology are the pillars of contemporary development. A country that is not capable of recognizing and incorporating its ancestral knowledge and generating new knowledge from research; and having and promoting a universe of outstanding professionals in this field, will never be able to reach the levels of development required to adequately distribute among its population the basic public services, such as food security, adequate housing, efficient public transportation and a relevant and quality education and public health system.

PETROPERÚ
PETROPERÚ will participate in all aspects of the oil industry, the exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas deposits, transportation to refineries and the commercialization of derivatives. In this way we will be able to regulate the final prices and avoid exploiting the citizen, raising food and ticket prices for the benefit of a monopolistic company. We are not talking about public subsidies, since this company will have to participate fully in the market with its own resources, but with a reasonable profit rate and without any kind of abuse.

We are willing to recover sovereignty over all our natural resources because many, today, are in foreign hands, with contracts that have guaranteed tax stability. This is one of the main reasons that oblige us to seek a new Political Constitution that, among other things, allows us to adapt the contracts to the changing circumstances of the international market, guaranteeing the State’s income.

The rondas [autonomous peasant patrols in rural communities] and citizen security
We know that citizen security is one of the problems most felt by the population. The National Police is the pillar on which public activity fights against this evil, but that is not enough. In spite of the efforts made in this field, gangs and street robberies, aggressions to the physical integrity of the people and their lives are still rampant. We believe that we must expand the system of the rondas, which is nothing more than the population organized to provide security to the entire population. In the image of the peasant patrols, we propose to call on the entire population to form them where they do not exist and include them in the National System of Citizen Security, at the corresponding regional and local levels.

We will allocate a budget to provide them with the necessary logistics.

Likewise, we will promote their participation in the supervision of the authorities in the execution of public investment in their communities.

We will strengthen the law of rondas by influencing their internal organization and respecting their autonomy. We are sure that together with the Peruvian National Police we will be able to achieve a more efficient public security.

Foreign criminals will have 72 hours to leave the country. Finally, young people who do not study or work will have to do military service.

Defense: A new role for the armed forces
Certainly our armed forces have, as established in Article 165 of the Constitution, the primary purpose of guaranteeing the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic. However, in times of peace, nothing prevents teams, technical personnel and, in general, all available personnel from participating in the execution of development projects, such as roads, engineering works, dams, etc. We believe that this is not only possible but necessary. This function is regulated in Article 171 of the Constitution, but has been restricted for political reasons. We will once again entrust the Armed Forces with the participation in some important development projects. This will be one of the changes that we will promote from the executive branch.

We will strengthen the institutionality of the armed forces, bearing in mind meritocracy, rather than cronyism for promotions.

We will promote voluntary military service with the creation of the program “Enter to serve your country and ensure your preparation for the future”.

We will strengthen the equipment of the Armed Forces so that they can efficiently fulfill their commissioned mission.

Culture
We will introduce an intercultural approach through:

• A plan to linguistically transform the Peruvian State, with the objective that all public institutions, where native languages predominate, communicate officially in those languages. To this end, maximum deadlines and learning opportunities should be determined so that all public servants and officials can prove their command of the respective native language in the exercise of their functions.

• Recognition of Indigenous communities so that they can be considered within the scope of ILO Convention 169.

• We will allocate a larger budget to the various departments to encourage the rescue and promotion of cultural industries.

• We will stimulate the publishing industry.

• The management of cultures will be decentralized.

One of the pending challenges we still face as a Republic is the recognition of cultural diversity in the formulation of public policies, which has meant that Peruvian men and women from rural areas continue to be invisible as they were 200 years ago. This is why it is necessary to interculturalize the State, that is, to establish that when the most relevant decisions are made, the voices of the native peoples and communities and of the Afro-Peruvian people are considered.

In this sense, a restructuring of the Ministry of Culture is required, starting with its name, which should be renamed the Ministry of Cultures. In a diverse country such as ours, a ministry is needed that recognizes the diverse cultures in force and implements policies in which the native peoples themselves participate in their elaboration and execution.

Fight against corruption
We will review all legislation on corruption, the classification of crimes related to it, and the penalties imposed in the criminal code in order to strengthen them, both with regard to public officials, as well as companies and national and foreign businessmen involved. We must have legislation that discourages criminality of all kinds and not like the present one, which encourages it.

The Comptroller’s Office has pointed out that corruption embezzles more than 20 billion soles a year, which is as much as the entire public expenditure in Health for the year 2021 or two thirds of the public expenditure in the Education Sector this year.

We will have to strengthen the Comptroller General of the Republic, the Attorney General’s Office and the entire anti-corruption judicial system so that we can energetically reduce corruption.

Regulation of state advertising
State advertising, by means of which some governments have put undue pressure on the media to achieve political benefits, paralyze criticism and even guide the editorial line of some, must be better regulated. In this sense, we will establish that this expenditure will be made giving priority to provincial media and virtual networks. We believe that in this way we will be able to guarantee a better coverage of state advertising and a correct decentralization of public spending.

Transportation and communications
Promotion of the construction and improvement of rural roads as the first priority.

Improvement of public transportation with integrated systems and new road corridors, which will save hours of travel time and improve the quality of life of our population.

Implementation of an Integrated Vehicle Monitoring and Supervision System, through preventive control.

Immediate use of the Dorsal Network: National Network of the Peruvian State REDNACE, in INTRANET mode, oriented to the integration of all the entities of the State at national level, allowing an efficient management.

Start of the following projects: Inca Train that will cover the route from Cajamarca to Puno. And the Grau Train of longitudinal scope along the entire Tumbes-Tacna coast. Both will be managed from the vocation of integration of local markets and tourism with international financing.

Foreign Trade and Tourism
A 500 million soles financing program will be managed in order to execute impact projects to improve and give value to the tourist, gastronomic and living cultures capital.

We will improve the opening of bilateral trade markets and regional integration, improving exports and foreign exchange income. We will seek to improve TLCs [Free Trade Agreements] based on the country’s interests.

Environmental protection and development
Our country has great challenges in environmental matters. In this field we have to create strategic instruments for the modern management of environmental resources such as the Action Plan of the National Strategy of Biological Diversity, the National Implementation Plan of the Stockholm Convention and the Plan of Heavy Metals, Metalloids and Toxic Chemical Substances, among others.

We need a Ministry of the Environment that is capable of putting a stop to environmental degradation, deforestation of our forests, vulnerability to climate change, that guarantees environmental quality standards, that is committed to sustainable mining, as well as a transition to a socially inclusive, low-carbon economy.

We fully agree that Peru should become a carbon neutral country by 2050 and for this we must make serious progress in fulfilling the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% to 40% compared to what was projected for 2030. Our government affirms this commitment expressed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Our country has 13% of the total territory of the Amazon. In the year 2000 we had 78 million hectares of forest cover, but we have deforested several hundred thousand hectares since then. We have to reverse this trend. The Amazon is the main inheritance we will leave to the next generations and we will fulfill our responsibilities to this part of the world. This is my commitment.

A new Law of Territorial Ordering and environmental economic zoning, which guarantees that the instruments generated from the environmental point of view become effective.

We will eliminate the obstacles that prevent the collection of environmental infractions, which should be used to strengthen environmental policy.

Social protection
The public and private pension systems, as well as the health care of the population in Es Salud and MINSA [Ministry of Health], to which we have referred above, are in crisis. We believe that social protection in Peru must move from “insurance” policies to access to health and pensions. No Peruvian should have to make collections, denigrate themselves in show programs or beg for health care or to have a decent pension. Health and pensions will be universal and with a decent coverage. On this basis, we will propose the creation of an Executive-Legislative Commission for the creation of a New Social Protection System.

With this objective, we will promote the consolidation of a single health prevention system unifying Es salud, the National Healthcare System of the Ministry of Health, the Regional Healthcare Directorates and the healthcare systems of the Armed Forces and the National Police. All of them in a single large system that provides services to all the inhabitants of the country.

Within this framework of the social protection system, a people-centered social development and inclusion policy will be approved, with a logic of articulation and coordination with other sectors and levels of government. Social programs will be strengthened and the household targeting system will be improved to serve the country’s most vulnerable population.

The Constituent Assembly
Everyone knows, because we have stated it many times, that one of our main political banners, now converted into a banner of the majority of the people, is the call for a constituent assembly that will provide our country with a new Magna Carta that will allow us to change the face of our economic and social reality. We will insist on this proposal, but always within the framework of the law and with the legal instruments that the current constitution itself provides. Rest assured that we will never make a clean sweep of legality, no doubt to achieve this purpose we will have to reconcile positions with the Congress of the Republic, since it will be here, in the house of the laws where the corresponding norms will have to be approved.

The Peruvian people must be certain that we do not want to make changes for the simple desire to make them, but that many of the provisions currently in force only benefit large corporations so that they can take our wealth in abundance. The state must be free to promote, to monitor and regulate according to the interests of the majority. We will energetically execute and respect what the people decide.

It is true that the 1993 Constitution does not include considerations for a Constituent Assembly, nor the elaboration of a New Constitution; nor does it contemplate the attribution of the President of the Republic to call for a constituent referendum. It only mentions the possibility of a partial or total reform of the Constitution by the Congress. Does this mean that the Peruvian people are condemned to remain prisoners of this Constitution for the rest of their lives, despite the fact that most of those who voted in the recent elections, and who today are less than 46 years old, did not participate politically in the approval of this Constitution? The answer, undoubtedly, is no. The original constituent power emanates from the people and not from the rulers or the authorities. The Constitutional Court pointed out, some years ago, that this power must be exercised exclusively by the people, through a constituent referendum.

It is for this reason that I am announcing that we will present before Congress, scrupulously respecting the procedure for constitutional reform provided for in Article 206 of the current Constitution, a bill to reform it which, after being analyzed and debated by Parliament, we hope can be approved and then submitted for ratification in a popular referendum.

There are those who question why a Constituent Assembly is needed, if the Constitution can be reformed by the Congress. Those who make this objection should remember that the Executive Branch should concentrate on governing, and the Congress on legislating and exercising political control over the government—tasks that should be related to attending to the urgent matters of each day. That is why the constituent work cannot and should not be in the charge of these bodies. On the other hand, the Constituent Assembly will be elected by the people exclusively to dedicate itself to elaborate, within a predetermined period of time, a draft Constitution, product of political debate and pluralist agreement, which will be submitted to a referendum. Once this task has been fulfilled, it shall be dissolved.

The Constituent Assembly of the Bicentennial must be plurinational, popular and with gender parity. Its composition must include, in addition to candidates proposed by the registered political organizations, percentages of candidates from indigenous, native and native peoples; from Afro-Peruvian people; from independent candidates coming from the unions of popular organizations and from the civil society. Genuinely representative of all the Peruvian People.

I call upon all Peruvians
Dear compatriots, I must tell you that I will not govern from the House of Pizarro, because I believe that we have to break with the colonial symbols in order to put an end to the ties of domination that have remained in force for so many years. We will cede this palace to the new Ministry of Cultures to be used as a museum to show our history, from its origins to the present.

All Peruvians must know that the tasks ahead of us are hard and that they need all of us. That is why we must put aside ideological differences, political positions and personal interests, in order to pull our country out of the serious crises that burden it.

I call on all the men and women of Peru, without distinction of any kind, to tell them that now is the time for the reconstruction of national unity. This is a task that commits us all; we will do it democratically, seeking national consensus, assuring once again that on July 28, 2026, I will return to my usual teaching duties. As our Quechua ancestors used to say before undertaking a great task: Huk umalla huk sunquilla and huk maquilla! A single force, a single heart and a single direction! Which is the direction of progress and social justice for all Peruvians.

Thank you very much Peruvian people.

Long live our homeland!

Long live Peru!

 

Featured image: Inauguration Speech of Peru President Pedro Castillo

(Chicago ALBA Solidarity)

Translation: Stansfield Smith

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