Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Peru and Pedro Castillo: An Overview

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This article is adapted from AQ’special report on the Summit of the Americas. Click here for the full list of countries.


President: Pedro Castillo

Term: 2021-2026

Castillo’s lack of political experience has shown since his surprise win in 2021’s tight runoff election. By February, the socially conservative former schoolteacher and member of the far-left Perú Libre party had replaced his cabinet four times. There have been multiple allegations of corruption and mismanagement within Castillo’s inner circle, contributing to Peru’s overall political instability and raising the specter of impeachment. Tense relations with Congress stymied Castillo’s promise to write a new Constitution. Despite fears that a Castillo presidency would end years of economic stability, Peru’s economy has proven resilient, thanks in part to pragmatic leadership at the finance ministry. GDP grew by 13.5% in 2021, recovering from a double-digit recession in 2020. Peru continues to rely heavily on mining and petroleum revenues, and low wages and high labor informality persist.

To facilitate comparisons among these 10 countries,
the data is color-coded:   
High performing   
Middle performing   
Low performing


President’s approval rating* 19%
Capacity to Combat Corruption Index ranking (out of 15 Latin American countries) 4
Share of adults who support democracy* 50%
Military expenditure as % GDP 1.1%


Projected GDP growth 2022 3%
Projected inflation 2022 4.5%
Total trade as % of GDP 43%
Unemployment 8%
Share of labor force in informal economy 60.4%
Share of population living in extreme poverty 8.6%


Population (millions) 33.4
Homicide rate (per 100,000 people) 4.3
Annual carbon dioxide emissions (millions of tons) 44.7
Share of public social spending on education 30.3%
Global press freedom ranking (out of 180 countries) 91

Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Guatemala | Mexico | Venezuela

*NOTES: Approval rating updated May 6. Support for democracy reflects percentage who agree that democracy is preferable to any other form of government.

Sources: Approval rating: Ipsos (April); support for democracy: Latin American Public Opinion Project (2021); Capacity to Combat Corruption Index (2022); military expenditure: Stockholm International Peace Institute (2021); GDP, inflation, unemployment: Bloomberg; total trade: World Bank (2020); informal labor force: Inter-American Development Bank (2020); poverty, population, education spending: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (2020); Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index (2021); homicide rate: InSight Crime (2021); CO2 emissions: Global Carbon Project (2020)


Reading Time: < 1 minuteSweigart is an editor at Americas Quarterly and a policy manager at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Follow Emilie Sweigart:   LinkedIn   |    X/Twitter

Tags: Pedro Castillo, Peru
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