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Hernán Condori: The Peruvian Congress forces the resignation of the Minister of Health for promoting pseudoscience | International

The Peruvian Minister of Health, Hernán Condori.
The Peruvian Minister of Health, Hernán Condori.EL COMERCIO / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO (Europa Press)

In eight months of management, the president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, has changed 32 ministers, the last one this Thursday. Parliament censured Hernán Condori, the Minister of Health, for not considering him suitable for the position, after which the head of state has a period of three days to accept the resignation of the official. Condori’s appointment was rejected by the Medical Association of Peru and other professional societies a few hours after taking the oath on February 8, after the dissemination of a couple of videos in which he appeared as a promoter of pseudoscience and presented himself as an obstetrician. despite not having the license to practice as such, but as a surgeon.

The Congress expressed the “lack of suitability and capacity for the position” with 71 votes in favor of censorship, 32 against and 16 abstentions. During the debate on the motion, presented a week ago by representatives of the conservative parties, the congressmen addressed the questioning of the medical unions, the departure of senior ministry officials after the arrival of Condori, and the decrease in the daily number of people vaccinated since taking office. This is the second censorship of a minister so far in the Castillo Government, the first was the former head of Education, Carlos Gallardo.

Condori was questioned by Parliament on March 15. Congress questioned him about the scientific publications on which he relied to promote on Facebook – before becoming a minister – an expensive product called agua arracimada to which he attributed medicinal properties, despite the fact that it was only a mixture of purified water and fruit juice. . Days before, summoned to the Health Commission of Congress to answer the questions, he replied in a mocking tone: “They presented me with the product, I went to Google, I investigated, there is a bibliography. It is a type of water that can enter more easily through the cell membrane.”

He also added that he had not sold the product, but used it with a very sick family member. On the day of the questioning, he explained that he wanted to turn the page on this issue and, referring to his relative, said that he “has a terrible disease.” “The science that we do is not going to help you,” he said, insisting on using the product as an alternative.

Condori came to the Government as the cabinet quota of the Cerronista faction of the Free Peru party, due to his closeness to the Marxist-Leninist politician Vladimir Cerrón, the founder of the party that affiliated Castillo to launch him as a presidential candidate in 2021. The deposed minister This Thursday he was director of health for a district in Junín, a region in which Cerrón was governor. The motion of censure was also based on another advertising video of the doctor, which he recorded before becoming a minister, in which he promoted a device for diagnosing cervical cancer “in one minute”, despite the fact that he is not a specialist in gynecology or oncology .

The Medical Association of Peru, which has yet to resolve investigations against Condori, received another complaint in mid-March for a possible violation of the code of ethics, when during a trip to the south of Lima it put a sick girl on a helicopter and carried her to an ambulance when they arrived at the Government Palace, to show the press that they were expediting their transfer to a pediatric hospital in the capital. “It is an exhibition against the dignity of the patient,” explained Raúl Urquizo, the dean of the guild, to the Radioprogramas station.

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Almost the entire caucus of Peru Libre voted against the censorship of Condori, although some opted for abstention; while the Purple Party (center-right) and Together for Peru (moderate left) were in favor of censorship. The conservative parties, as promoters of the motion of censure, also voted for his departure. During the censorship debate, Congresswoman Flor Pablo, from the Purple Party, affirmed that Condori did not have professional or ethical qualities, and blamed Castillo for having replaced the previous minister, Hernando Cevallos, who had “a high capacity for dialogue.” “They would have put someone who was the same or better: at this time we need the most qualified in that position,” the legislator remarked.

The Castillo government has been facing a strike by carriers and farmers in several regions since Monday, as a measure against the rise in fuel and fertilizer prices, but the area most affected this Thursday by the blockades is the Central Highway. On Monday, the president was saved from being impeached by Congress, but another crisis quickly escalated. The Junín region, where thousands of his constituents live, claims that the president – who offered improvements for carriers and family farming – has abandoned them.

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