Are you at all confused by the current state of the presidency in Perú? You are not alone. It is a bit maddening - to say the least.
The question on everyone's mind - is Pedro Castillo the new president of Perú? The answer . . . an emphatic . . . 'maybe.'
The race for the presidency in Perú has taken a complex - and heated - turn to the courts, where Castillo is embroiled in a messy legal battle with Keko Fujimori over invalid vote counts and corruption.
As of today, there is no declared winner - although there was a winner for a few hours a week or so back. That decision, taken by the Peruvian elections commission (Jurado Nacional de Elecciones (JNE)) was later reversed, when one of the appointed representatives nullified their decision to certify the election.
Add to the ever increasing mix of strange and sensational - a shadow figure named Vladimir Cerrón. Cerrón, a Cuban trained Peruvian neurosurgeon who many believe has direct ties to leadership in the Shinning Path terrorist group of the late 90's - has been banned from holding elected office due to corruption charges. He is, none-the-less, holding a fair amount of influence over the election and seems to be lurking in the background all the time. It is well believed that Cerrón is the main architect and influencer of the progressive, Marxist platform of Castillo and the Perú Libre political party.
So - while the courts battle to determine who is the rightful and legal President of Perú, the country is facing massive challenges brought on by decades of unequal wealth distribution and corruption. The pandemic was the proverbial straw that swayed the llamas back. Now, Perú - like much of Latin America is facing a steep climb out of a deep hole that has impacted nearly every aspect of society and economic stability.
What's next? No one knows for certain. However, if we have learned anything from the past 14+ months of the pandemic - we need to prepare for every thing. For us as an NGO working to bring health equity to marginalized children and women living in extreme circumstances and experiences - this means creating the type of contingency plans that include accepting more children into the Casa Girasoles homes, expanding our work with young adults transitioning from jail with little to no resources or support, continuing our efforts to advance the health and well-being of families living with a child living with a disability, and expanding our web-based training of health professionals in neonatal resuscitation.
Whatever happens next - it doesn't really matter in the bigger scheme of our work. We are not going anywhere. We are in this with the people of Perú for the long haul.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.