Friday, July 12, 2024

Mexico sends rescue mission to Peru in face of conservative threat

President López Obrador has dispatched a delegation to Peru to assist that country’s president as he faces attempts by the conservative opposition to remove him from office.

A delegation led by Finance Minister Rogelio Ramírez de la O traveled to Lima last Wednesday to support and provide advice to the government of leftist President Pedro Castillo, a former primary school teacher and union leader who took office in July.

Speaking at his regular news conference on Tuesday, López Obrador said that attempts by the president’s adversaries to oust him began just a month after he took office.

“Fortunately they didn’t get 40% [support] in the second [Congress] vote, I think they needed 52 votes and they got 46 – it was close in other words,” he said.

“Just imagine, it’s conservatism supported even by [Nobel Prize-winning Peruvian writer and former presidential candidate Mario] Vargas Llosa, it’s an irrational thing,” López Obrador said.

“The president asked us for support because [there’s] a whole media campaign [about inflation] against him. … So, being very respectful, we went [to Peru] to support him,” he said.

However, the main purpose of the delegation’s visit, AMLO said, was to provide advice to the Peruvian government about how it can help “humble people, poor people” during “difficult times.”

Deputy Welfare Minister Ariadna Montiel and the head of the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation and Development, Laura Elena Carillo, accompanied Ramírez.

The newspaper Milenio characterized the visit as an attempt by the government to export its “fourth transformation model” to the South American nation. López Obrador claims that his government is carrying out a transformation of Mexico that is equal in importance to monumental events such as independence from Spain and the Mexican Revolution.

The Mexican delegation provided advice to the Peruvian government about how to implement social programs similar to the signature schemes rolled out by the López Obrador administration, among which are the Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) tree-planting employment program and a youth apprenticeship scheme.

“We have to help fraternal peoples,” including a president who emerged from a “popular movement” and represents poor communities, AMLO told reporters.

Mexican and Peruvian officials are expected to continue their discussions later this month.

López Obrador – who clearly sees similarities between himself and his Peruvian counterpart – revealed that Castillo told him that opposition lawmakers didn’t want him to wear his trademark sombrero when he visited the Congress.

The indigenous president has faced other forms of discrimination, he said, asserting that elites in Lima cover their noses when Castillo passes them in the street.

With reports from El Universal and Milenio

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