The president of Peru faces a new crisis: he is now accused of having plagiarized his master’s thesis

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Pedro Castillo is increasingly cornered. After averting yet another right-wing impeachment offensive in Congress in late April, Peru’s leftist president has relaunched his old Constitutional reform in an attempt to regain ground on the political agenda.

But 10 months after his inauguration, he continues to face crises. One after the other. The new is personal. The TV show “Panoramica die Pan American Channel denounced that the president and his wife, Lilia Paredes, plagiarized most of his master’s thesis at Cesar Vallejo University.

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“Now it’s an accusation of plagiarism and then 80 other things will come. This is an isolated government, without decision-making or convening capacity. The resumption of the constitutional reform project was not a question of principles, but looking for conjunctural spaces to see how to get out of this quagmire. The political class is not interested in self-reform,” he said. NT political analyst and pollster director Imasen, Giovanna Penaflor.

What does the plagiarism complaint against Pedro Castillo say?

The accusation of plagiarism echoed in Peruvian political circles. The thesis, of 121 pages, is titled “Gender Equality and Meaningful Learning in the Field of Social Personnel in Cycle IV Students of the Educational Institution No. 10465 Puña, Tacabamba, Chota”, the area of ​​the Cajamarca region, in the north of the country, where the presidential couple is from.

According to the complaint, the thesis has plagiarism from other authors in 54%. Panorama he claimed to have used plagiarism detection software called Turnitin. The thesis was obtained by the producers of the program after a transparency access request.

Political campaign for the impeachment of President Pedro Castillo (Photo: AFP)

Even the television program denounced two of the three professionals who validated the thesis do not exist in the national identity register.

What Pedro Castillo Said About His Master’s Thesis Plagiarism Complaint

Castillo responded with a statement in which he flatly denied the charges. “I reject the malicious accusations (…) on the veracity of the master’s thesis that I did more than 10 years ago at the University César Vallejo and that on the basis of software they claim that I made a copy of it” , did he declare.

The president and his companion, both rural teachers, obtained with their thesis a master’s degree in education with honors in psychopedagogy in 2011.

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This complaint has a political tone and is part of a destabilization plan. I have not copied or attributed authorship to third parties, because they are irresponsibly trying to make people believe,” the president said.

César Vallejo University has announced an investigation into the alleged plagiarism of President Pedro Castillo’s master’s thesis

Meanwhile, the César Vallejo University announced on Tuesday the opening of an investigation. Its board of directors appointed a special commission to evaluate the thesis of Castillo and his wife.

The investigation is expected to continue for several weeks.

A new storm front harasses the Peruvian government
A new storm front harasses the Peruvian government

These types of accusations have become a common denominator in Peru. Two of Castillo’s ministers are accused of plagiarism in his thesis. But this is not a new phenomenon. In 2009, the court condemned the writer Alfredo Bryce Echenique to pay a fine for having plagiarized 16 newspaper articles by 15 different authors.

Pedro Castillo seeks to recover the political agenda with a constitutional reform project

The new storm front that is opening up in Castillo joins the insistent maneuvers of the Peruvian right to keep him out of Congress. The president survived several motions of “Vacancyin recent months amid growing social unrest that sparked fierce protests in April after rising fuel and food prices led to a strike by transporters.

In recent years, two presidents have been removed from office by Congress: the right-wing party Pierre Paul Kuczynski in 2018 and the centrist Martin Vizcarra in 2020.

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The government is supported today by a lack of decision of the unofficial political forces in Congress. If they worked on the decision to bring the elections forward, Castillo’s days would be numbered,” Peñaflor said in his dialogue with NT.

For the analyst, there is today in Peru a great discouragement among citizens and a perception “that they all have to go”. In this context, the government tried to impose a political agenda with the constitutional reform project which was its battle horse in the electoral campaign. The plan provides for a popular consultation to establish a constituent assembly responsible for developing a new Magna Carta.

“But he did it to get out of a rut, kind of a leap forward. I find it very difficult to base this problem on. The Congress has no vocation to make the slightest reform”, she concluded.

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