Pedro Castillo’s election as president of Peru in 2021 unleashed an unexpected series of historical debates in the bicentenary year of Peru’s independence. A left-wing union leader and rural teacher, Castillo was confronted by a stubborn conservative opposition that denounced his alleged communism, in a renewal of ideological confrontation that raised more questions about Peru’s nation-building process. This article argues that, paradoxically, the country’s present political precariousness created the conditions for the reemergence of these historical debates—and, because of that same reason, they might prove to be just another ephemeral process in a volatile country still coming to terms with its recent internal conflict.

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