One week after taking office, having won election by the thinnest margin imaginable, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo finds himself “between the sword and the wall,” to use the Spanish expression, as a result of the country’s complex political realities, made worse by his early stumbles. Peruvians are watching anxiously, uncertain about what direction he will try to take the country and how far he will get in his efforts.

Castillo assumed the presidency last Thursday, in a day so filled with controversy that it seemed a continuation of the turbulent events that brought him to the top job. Obviously, it is extremely early in his term, but the signs so far are not reassuring to anyone on any side of the political spectrum.

Nerves are on edge among centrists, who voted for Castillo in the second-round run-off election in early June only because they distrusted his far-right opponent, Keiko Fujimori, even more. As…

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