© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the State Department’s Treaty Room in Washington, DC, U.S. December 16, 2022. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS
By Diego Oré and Marco Aquino
MEXICO CITY/LIMA (Reuters) – Peru declared Mexico’s ambassador to Lima a “persona non grata” and ordered him to leave the country on Tuesday, Peru’s foreign minister announced, in the latest escalation of tensions. between the two countries after Peru overthrew Pedro Castillo. chairperson.
The sudden order, a severe measure in the diplomatic world, gave Mexico’s envoy to the South American country only 72 hours to leave.
The Peruvian government’s decision came hours after Mexico’s top diplomat announced that his country had granted asylum to the Castillo family, who are facing sedition charges from the country. behind bars after carrying out what critics call a coup on December 7.
Peru’s Foreign Ministry posted on social media that the expulsion of Mexican Ambassador Pablo Monroy was due to “repeated statements from the highest authorities of that country regarding the political situation”. in Peru”, alluding to the support the Mexican president had for his leftist counterpart Castillo. since he was ousted by an overwhelming vote of lawmakers and his subsequent arrest.
Mexico’s Foreign Ministry later said it had asked its envoy to return home and said the embassy in Lima would continue to operate normally.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador harshly criticized Castillo’s removal last week as undemocratic, stressing that he continues to recognize Castillo as the legitimate leader of Peru.
Speaking at a news conference earlier in the day, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the government was negotiating a safe passage for the Castillo family, who were inside the Mexican Embassy in Lima.
Ana Cecilia Gervasi, Peru’s foreign minister, announced later on Tuesday that safe passage for Castillo’s wife and the couple’s two children had been officially approved.
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Neither Mexico nor Peru have given a specific date on when Lilia Paredes, Castillo’s wife and their children, will travel to Mexico.
Last week, the Mexican government, along with leftist-led Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia, issued a joint statement declaring Castillo the victim of “undemocratic harassment”.
Days later, the week-old government of President Dina Boluarte, who had previously been Castillo’s vice president, summoned Peru’s ambassadors to the country for consultations about what she derided as interference. unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the country.
On Tuesday alone, the first major step in Boluarte’s push for early elections was passed by lawmakers, with 93 votes in favor and just 30 against. The proposal would bring the elections to April 2024, two years before the elections currently scheduled for 2026.
Immediately after the attempt to dissolve Congress, Castillo himself attempted to flee to the Mexican Embassy, but was arrested by police before arriving.
Also on Tuesday, a Peruvian court denied prosecutors’ request to ban Paredes from leaving the country. She is under investigation for allegedly participating in a money laundering network that may also be linked to Castillo.
“Mexico is sheltering corrupt people,” Peruvian opposition lawmaker Maria del Carmen Alva told journalists on Tuesday.
Lopez Obrador often says that his government prioritizes non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, but he deviates from that principle when it comes to perceived ideological allies in the US. Latin.
Castillo will remain in pre-trial detention for 18 months, after a judicial panel approved prosecutors’ request for an extension while they investigate sedition and conspiracy charges against the former agriculture teacher. village, who won last year’s narrow election under the Marxist banner of the Liberal Peruvian Party.