Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Peru withdraws ambassador to Mexico

Peru has withdrawn its ambassador to Mexico due to comments President López Obrador has made about the Peruvian government, but Mexico won’t make any changes to its diplomatic and consular representation in the South American country.

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte announced Friday that she was withdrawing Ambassador Manuel Gerardo Talavera due to López Obrador’s “unacceptable questioning” of her government on repeated occasions.

Dina Boluarte, president of Peru
The president of Peru announced the withdrawal of the ambassador to Mexico on Friday. (@PresidenciaPeru Twitter)

AMLO has described the government of Boluarte – who took office after former president Pedro Castillo was ousted last December – as illegitimate and “spurious” and is resisting an anticipated handover of the leadership of the Pacific Alliance to Peru.

“What happened in Peru is extremely serious,” he said at his Feb. 17 press conference, adding that there were no “legal foundations” for Castillo’s removal and incarceration.

“They don’t respect the will of the people and what there is beneath is a classist, racist attitude because he’s an [indigenous] teacher from the mountains, a humble man,” López Obrador said.

He said last Friday that Castillo’s removed from office by the Peruvian Congress was a “great injustice” and that “the conservatives of Peru” had violated that country’s constitution.

In a televised address, Boluarte charged that López Obrador’s latest remarks violated “the principle of international law about non-interference in internal affairs.”

In response to her decision to withdraw the Peruvian ambassador, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) said in a statement Saturday that the Mexican government regretted Peru’s decision to “reduce the level of diplomatic relations” between the two countries.

However, the Mexican government “will maintain its diplomatic and consular representation [in Peru] to promote the ties between our people and provide attention to the Mexican community in Peru,” the SRE said.

Mexico’s diplomatic representation in the Andean country is currently diminished due to the expulsion of Ambassador Pablo Monroy in December.

The SRE said it is committed to “keeping the channels of diplomatic communication open for the benefit of both societies” and expressed its hope for a “democratic solution” to the “prevailing disagreements” in Peru.

At least 60 people have died in incidents related to recent political protests in the country, Reuters reported Saturday.

Protests in Peru since the arrest of former president Pedro Castillo have left several people dead.
Protests in Peru since the arrest of former president Pedro Castillo have left at least 60 people dead since December. (Twitter @JuanfranTorres)

“Human rights groups have accused [Peruvian] authorities of using firearms on protesters and dropping smoke bombs from helicopters. The army accuses protesters of using weapons and homemade explosives,” the news agency said.

López Obrador, whose government has provided asylum to Castillo’s wife and children, accused the Boluarte administration of ruling “with bayonets and repression – with force.”

The president, who purports to uphold a constitutionally-enshrined principle of non-intervention in the affairs of foreign countries, also said Friday that the decision to remove Castillo was a discriminatory one and related to the presence of “vested interests” in Peru.

“He’d been in office a month or two and [opposition lawmakers] were already requesting his removal because … [they couldn’t] accept that a representative of the poorest people, of the indigenous people won. Unfortunately there is a lot of racism and classism and a lot of vested interests in Peru because it’s a country with a lot of natural resources and the natural resources are coveted by large multinational companies supported by foreign governments,” López Obrador said.

“We’re talking about gas, we’re talking about copper, gold, silver and lithium. In addition, they exploit the people, loot their natural resources [and] there is a lot of poverty. All this is what leads to these decisions to remove legal, legitimately constituted authorities,” he said.

With reports from El Financiero and Reuters 

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