The president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, called her Mexican counterpart Andrés Manuel López Obrador “ignorant”, while Obrador reiterated that he does not accept Boluarte’s mandate, which he describes as a “usurper”. This is a new chapter in the tense relationship between Mexico and Peru since former president Pedro Castillo was removed from the Executive and placed in pretrial detention for alleged corruption, a measure criticized by several leftist leaders in the region, including López Obrador.
Relations between Lima and Mexico City are getting colder and colder. This Friday, May 26, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared that his government does not want to have commercial or economic ties with Peru while Dina Boluarte remains in power. For the Mexican leader, the president is a “usurper” of the Presidency.
“As long as there is no democratic normality in Peru, we do not want economic or commercial relations with them,” López Obrador said.
The Mexican president added that he will not hand over the rotating presidency of the Pacific Alliance trade bloc to Peru and said that he is willing to hand it over to Chile. “I am not going to give it to the lady that she is usurping the presidency (…) I am going to send a letter to President Boric, that they no longer blame us politicians in Peru and nowObrador declared.
The Peruvian president responded to Obrador and called him “very ignorant given the intelligence of the Mexican people”, at a press conference in Lima.
This is the latest scuffle in the escalation of diplomatic tensions since former President Pedro Castillo was removed from the Peruvian Executive after he tried to shut down Congress, which was investigating him for his alleged participation in a criminal network.
Obrador, persona ‘non grata’ at the voice of the Peruvian Parliament
As recently as Thursday, May 25, Peruvian lawmakers decided that López Obrador was not welcome in the country, citing what they described as his meddling in Peru’s internal affairs after the ouster of former President Pedro Castillo.
López Obrador argued that the removal and subsequent imprisonment of the former president of Peru, last December, was unconstitutional.
Diplomatic relations between the two Latin American nations were already strained. Last December, the Boluarte government ordered the Mexican ambassador in Lima, Pablo Monroy, to leave the country after López Obrador’s first comments about Castillo.
In February, Boluarte also announced the withdrawal of Peru’s ambassador to Mexico in response to comments by López Obrador calling his government unconstitutional.
In addition to the Mexican president, the Peruvian Congress has also classified the presidents of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and Bolivia, Evo Morales, as “personas non grata” for similar criticisms of Boluarte.
A troubled political situation
Dina Boluarte, formerly vice president, was sworn in as president hours after Castillo was quickly removed from office and arrested, following his attempt to dissolve Congress and rule by decree in December 2022. Violent protests have erupted since then, particularly in the south of the country, which left dozens of civilians dead.
Rights groups have accused police and soldiers of using excessive force, and on Thursday Amnesty International suggested that the indigenous origins of most of those killed in the protests suggested racial bias.
For her part, Boluarte has defended security forces and accused some protesters of violence, but prosecutors are also investigating her for her role in the killings.
Meanwhile, the investigation against Pedro Castillo advances. This Friday, the Congressional Oversight Commission found evidence that the former president, in preventive detention for 36 months, received illicit money as part of an alleged criminal network that he installed in the Executive branch during his term.
With EFE, Reuters and local media
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