The discontent of the Peruvian government with Mexico has been climbing steps in recent weeks until it exploded on Tuesday with the expulsion of the ambassador, Pablo Monroy, declared a person not pleasant and who has been given 72 hours to leave Peru. In the morning, the Mexican foreign minister announced that the embassy had given asylum to the family of Pedro Castillo, the president who was ousted and imprisoned after dissolving Congress in a failed coup attempt against himself. Mexico made that decision in a sovereign manner while the safe-conduct was being negotiated to take the Castillo family out of the country and take them to Mexico if they so decided.
“We have a good ambassador,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had said hours before, praising the diplomatic efforts that Monroy is carrying out in the last hours to repatriate dozens of compatriots who have been involved in the Peruvian crisis, where there are already at least 26 killed by street protests that erupted after December 7.
The Mexican president always remembers that respect for the sovereignty of nations is a tradition in the North American country: “It is a fundamental principle of our foreign policy, non-intervention and self-determination of peoples,” he says. But the Peruvian president, Dina Boluarte, does not think so. Barely two days after the attempted coup, the Mexican ambassador was summoned to tell him “the surprise” that the speeches coming from the Mexican government caused in Peru. “The expressions of the Mexican authorities constitute an interference in the internal affairs of Peru, and are not consistent with the events that have occurred in recent days,” he reported.
But the noise did not stop in the region and on December 15 Peru called for consultations the ambassadors of the four nations that supported Castillo from the beginning, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia and Mexico. However, the most rarefied relations have been with the latter country.
President Castillo tried to reach the Mexican embassy in search of refuge after his television speech on December 7 in which he announced that he had dissolved Congress, a kind of failed self-coup, which did not have the support of the Army, as is custom to be habitual, not even with his presidential cabinet, many of whose members disassociated themselves minutes after the now imprisoned president gave his speech. One of them was the vice president, Dina Boluarte, who replaced the rural teacher in her duties, as is her duty in the Constitution.
But Castillo never made it to the Mexican embassy, before that he was detained by his own escorts. But the Peruvian crisis soon had a contagious wave in the region’s foreign relations. Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico have supported President Castillo with more or less zeal, asking for respect for the inauguration that proclaimed him president and expressing “their deep concern for him over recent events.” They consider that the teacher and former union leader “was a victim of undemocratic harassment from the day of his election, in violation of Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights.”
Boluarte and the Peruvian Foreign Minister, Ana Cecilia Gervasi, came forward accusing the interference of the aforementioned nations and recalling “the ties of friendship, cooperation and mutual respect” between the countries of the area. The president of Mexico has not shut up. He attributed the crisis that Peru is going through to “the interests of the economic and political elites who have always maintained an environment of confrontation and hostility with President Castillo.” And he was always by the teacher’s side, with the doors of the embassy open for him and his family. “If he requests it, we would consider it, we should not oppose it, but he has not done so,” said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in those hours after the coup.
The diplomatic arrangement for the family, communicated this morning, has been the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Peruvian government. Once again he has pointed out the “interference” of Mexico in his declaration of expulsion of Ambassador Monroy. Minister Gervasi has mentioned “the repeated expressions of the highest authorities” of Mexico on the political situation in Peru, “violating the principle of non-intervention”, as a reason to order the departure of the ambassador. In any case, the Peruvian government has granted safe conduct to the woman, Lilia Paredes, and Castillo’s two children, as required by the Caracas Convention, after Mexico granted the family asylum in its embassy. But they recalled that Paredes is being investigated by the Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office for alleged crimes of corruption and for being part of a criminal organization together with her husband. Gervasi assured that they will request the extradition of Paredes if the judicial authorities so request.
The Embassy of Mexico in Peru is in charge of the first secretary Karla Tatiana Ornelas Loera, current head of the Foreign Ministry of the Mission. “Our Representation will continue to operate normally after this movement. Mexico firmly believes in dialogue and will continue to keep communication channels open with all interlocutors, especially to meet the needs of Mexicans residing in Peru,” reported the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
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