President Martín Vizcarra last week announced the firing of Francesco Petrozzi, the fifth minister to hold the post since Vizcarra took over from Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in March 2018. If Kuczynski’s mandate is included, that makes eighth ministers since 2016.

This arose because of the row surrounding Petrozzi’s dismissal of Hugo Coya, the head of the state television network. Apparently Petrozzi was angry about Coya’s policy of maintaining a degree of political pluralism in the coverage of TV Peru. In particular, Coya had given substantial coverage to the release from jail of Keiko Fujimori.

When he was fired, Coya was in Madrid on his way to London for a meeting with the BBC over future collaboration. He had to return, having cancelled the meeting.

The ministerial resolution sacking Coya bore the signature of Vizcarra. It gave rise to speculation that Vizcarra wanted to rein in the editorial content of state TV. Such a move, if true, was probably unwise with legislative elections due in January.

Petrozzi’s replacement, who was due to be sworn in on 7 December, is Sonia Guillén. Previously she was director of the Archaeology, Anthropology and History Museum in Pueblo Libre, Lima.