Sunday, May 19, 2024

Pacific Alliance summit postponed following impeachment of Peruvian president

A meeting of Mexican, Peruvian, Chilean and Colombian officials that was scheduled to take place in Lima next week has been postponed due to the dramatic political events that unfolded in Peru on Wednesday.

The Congress of Peru voted to oust Pedro Castillo – who took office in July 2021 – due to “moral incapacity” in an impeachment trial held just hours after he attempted to dissolve the legislature by decree.

The now ex-president had planned to establish a “government of exception” and called for fresh legislative elections. Opposition politicians and allies of the leftist leader – including his vice president Dina Boluarte – accused him of carrying out a coup attempt. Boluarte was sworn in as president Wednesday afternoon.

President López Obrador had been scheduled to pass on the leadership of the four-nation Pacific Alliance to Castillo at a summit in the Peruvian capital next Wednesday.

President López Obrador in a 2021 meeting with former president of Peru, Pedro Castillo. (Cuartoscuro)

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter that the Dec. 14 summit has been postponed due to the “latest events in Peru,” which included the arrest of Castillo by national police.

He said in another post that “Mexico laments the latest events in Peru” and supports “respect of democracy and human rights for the good of” the Peruvian people.

For his part, López Obrador expressed regret that Castillo faced “an atmosphere of confrontation and hostility” from the beginning of his “legitimate presidency” due to “the interests of the economic and political elite.”

In the same Twitter post, AMLO added that the hostility the ex-Peruvian president experienced “led him to take decisions that were used by his adversaries to carry out his removal.”

He has previously expressed support for Castillo, and even sent a delegation to Peru late last year to advise him as he faced attempts by the conservative opposition to remove him from office.

The ousting of Castillo came a day after Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the current vice president of Argentina and a former president and first lady, was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to six years in jail, although she currently has immunity that protects her from arrest.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday night, López Obrador expressed his “deepest solidarity” with Fernández de Kirchner and said he had no doubt that the vice president was “a victim of political revenge and a vile, anti-democratic act of conservatism.”

The vice president – found guilty of directing public roadworks contracts to a family friend while president and first lady – can remain in office as she attempts to have her conviction overturned.

With reports from Milenio and Reuters  

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