LIMA (AP) — The permission denied to Peruvian President Pedro Castillo to attend the inauguration of President-elect Gustavo Petro in Colombia generated complaints on Friday from Mexico, Chile and Ecuador, who see the trip to Bogotá as a possibility to discuss various agendas. regional.
On their social networks, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Juan Holguín deplored Castillo’s absence after the Peruvian Congress, in an unprecedented decision in Peruvian history, denied the president a travel permit. Peruvian. Later, Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro retweeted Ebrard’s message.
The Mexican foreign minister, who is on a tour of South America and is in Bolivia, said that Castillo’s presence in Colombia will be missed because high-level meetings will be held in that country to face “inflation, recession, the food crisis and the new risks of Health”.
“We will miss Peru,” commented the Mexican foreign minister, who began his South American tour in Peru, where on Wednesday he met with Castillo and Mexican businessmen. The Mexican foreign minister’s message is unusual due to the traditional Mexican foreign policy of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
For her part, Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola also lamented that Castillo had to be absent from the inauguration of the new Colombian president. “There are few opportunities to get together to discuss the challenges we face as a region,” she posted on Twitter.
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Juan Holguín said on his Twitter account that it is time for the unity of the region to face the international crisis. He added that “the presence of President Pedro Castillo in the Colombian transmission of command is important to discuss the immediate actions” of the Andean Community of Nations, made up of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia.
Oscar Vidarte, professor of international relations theory at Peru’s Pontifical Catholic University, told The Associated Press that the fact that a foreign minister regrets that the Peruvian president does not attend is not a case of intervention in internal politics. , but because the countries build agendas long in advance and on the trip to Bogotá they expected to make decisions that are interrupted because the Peruvian Congress denies that option.
“A president makes decisions, a foreign minister does not because he has to consult with the president, and the countries had expectations that have been interrupted,” said Vidarte. Mexico and Chile, together with Peru and Colombia, make up the Pacific Alliance, which represents 41% of the GDP of Latin America and the Caribbean, in addition to 38% of direct foreign investment, according to the bloc’s website.
Vidarte also indicated that there could be other types of interests of a political nature because the governments of Mexico and Chile can see with concern how a close president, such as Castillo, would have complications in his stability. “It is obvious that they know that they are facing a government of increasingly complicated sustainability”, commented the expert.
This is the first time in Peruvian history that Congress has denied permission to a president to travel abroad. The Peruvian Constitution, like several in Latin America, mandates that Parliament decide whether to authorize or deny a president the possibility of leaving the country.
The opposition said that Castillo could escape because he has five preliminary judicial investigations, several for corruption. He added that the government has not appointed a new prime minister since Aníbal Torres, still in office, made his position available on Wednesday.
Castillo said that Parliament behaved in an “unusual and arrogant” way.
Less than a month ago, Congress, dominated by ultra-conservatives, denied the possibility of Lima hosting the 52nd regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) for being against a request from the organization to install at least one neutral bathroom that can be used by anyone regardless of gender. Faced with international pressure, he later granted permission.
The last Peruvian president who left the country and did not return was Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) who in November 2000, in the midst of a major corruption scandal, traveled to Brunei to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC, for its acronym in English) and then headed to Tokyo, from where he resigned. Congress later removed him for moral incapacity.
Now Fujimori, 84, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for murder and corruption in a Lima jail. The former president made a surprise return to Chile in 2005, where he was arrested, extradited to Peru in 2007 and sentenced by Peruvian courts in 2009.
Castillo began his administration a year ago, during which time Parliament has tried to remove him without success on two occasions.