Peru accuses Mexico of interference in internal affairs after Castillo ouster
By Hande Atay and Claudia Rebaza, CNN
The Mexican ambassador in Lima has been summoned by Peru’s foreign ministry on complaints Mexico is interfering in its internal affairs, after top officials weighed in on the ouster earlier this week of Peru’s former President Pedro Castillo.
Castillo, who was removed from power on Wednesday after he attempted to dissolve Peru’s Congress and call for new elections, was arrested while allegedly traveling to the Mexican Embassy, according to Peruvian prosecutors.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard later said that Castillo requested for asylum, and Mexican President Lopez Obrador criticized Peruvian elites, calling for the protection of the ousted president’s human rights.
Lopez Obrado also said he had directed Ambassador Pablo Monroy to “open the embassy’s door” to Castillo. Monroy reportedly met with Castillo on Thursday.
A statement from Peru’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday said the “comments made by the Mexican authorities are an interference in Peru’s internal matters and do not reflect the events in recent days.”
It added that the “comments made by these (Mexican) authorities about the right of asylum requested by former President Castillo, (we) informed Ambassador Monroy the need for states to follow all regulation established in current international treaties and to comply with all requirements.”
It also stressed the “mutual respect and the norms of international law,” as well as Mexico and Peru’s “long tradition of friendship.”
‘I request that you consider granting asylum’
In his tweet, Ebrard shared a copy of the letter apparently signed by Castillo’s lawyer on Thursday.
“I have the high honor of addressing you, and in light of the latest political events that have occurred in this country, which you are aware of in great detail, I request that you consider granting asylum to citizen Pedro José Castillo Terrones,” the letter read.
Ebrard said his government has “started consultations with the Peruvian authorities,” and confirmed that Monroy had met with Castillo.
“He found him physically well and in the company of his lawyer,” Ebrard said.
The same day, Mexico’s leftist President Obrador told journalists that Castillo tried to go to the Mexican embassy in Lima to request asylum.
“I contacted Marcelo Ebrard and I informed him. I asked him to talk to the ambassador (Monroy) and to open the embassy’s door according to our asylum tradition,” the President told journalists. “We ask to respect his human rights.”
“We are very sorry about what happened because since Pedro Castillo won, legally, legitimately, he was the victim of harassment, of confrontation, his adversaries, especially the economic and political elites of that country, did not accept that he governed, among other things, and that is what I regret the most,” he added.
Asked on Friday morning if she would agree to speak to Lopez Obrador on this matter and issue a safe passage for Castillo, Peru’s new President Dina Boluarte told journalists she will follow the law.
“I have always followed the law. We will follow the law for asylum in the case of the former President and his family, that would need to be come from the Mexican government.”
Castillo is currently under a seven-day preliminary arrest ordered by the Supreme Court on Thursday.
His arrest marks a humiliating downturn in Castillo’s short political career. The former schoolteacher and union leader rose from obscurity to be elected in July 2021 by a narrow margin in a runoff. and was seen as part of a “pink tide” of new left-wing leaders in Latin America.
He ran on a platform promising to rewrite the constitution and increase wealth redistribution by granting states greater control over markets and natural resources, pledges that he has struggled to deliver amid rising inflation in Peru, his lack of political experience and strong conservative opposition in Congress.
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