On Tuesday, June 20, the Peruvian National Police arrested former Prime Minister Betssy Chávez for the alleged crimes of rebellion and conspiracy against the state. Chávez was arrested at her home in the city of Tacna after the Supreme Court ordered 18 months of pre-trial detention for her. The charges against Chávez stem from the attempt by ousted former President Pedro Castillo to dissolve the Congress and rule by decree in December 2022 in the face of a coordinated right-wing attack.
Judge César San Martín, the head of the National Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, issued the arrest warrant for Chávez after accepting the request made by the Prosecutor’s Office for her preventive detention for her alleged participation in Castillo’s announcement regarding the dissolution of Congress.
Chávez has repeatedly denied participating in or having knowledge of Castillo’s decision, as have other former ministers who are under investigation. On Wednesday, June 21, Chávez’s legal team announced that it will appeal the measure to the Constitutional Court to revert the preventive detention.
Following the ruling, Chávez spoke in a livestream on her TikTok account, saying that she was not alone “but accompanied by millions of people.”
On Thursday, June 22, Chávez condemned her arrest as an attempt to silence those critical of the Dina Boluarte de facto government. “Today it is Betssy Chávez, tomorrow it may be you. What we must not allow is the use of the ‘justice system’ to silence those of us who are uncomfortable with the regime in power, the one that works in collusion with the Prosecutor’s Office, the Judicial Power[,] and the servient press,” she wrote in a tweet.