MEXICO CITY/LIMA — In the latest escalation of tensions between the two countries after Peru overthrew Pedro Castillo as president, Peru’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that Peru has declared Mexico’s ambassador in Lima “persona non grata” and prompts him to leave the country. announced the order.
A drastic measure in the world of diplomacy, the sudden order gives Mexico’s envoy to the South American country only 72 hours to leave the country.
The Peruvian government’s decision comes hours after Mexico’s top diplomat announced that his country had granted asylum to the family of Castillo, who was facing charges of rioting behind bars on December 7 after an attempt that critics described as a coup.
Peru’s foreign ministry reported on social media that the expulsion of Mexican Ambassador Pablo Monroy was due to “repeated statements by that country’s highest authorities regarding the political situation in Peru”. since his dismissal and subsequent arrest by an overwhelming vote of MPs.
Mexico’s foreign minister took to Twitter Tuesday night, deriding Monroy’s deportation as “unjust and reprehensible”.
Last week, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador harshly criticized Castillo’s dismissal as undemocratic, emphasizing that he continues to recognize Castillo as Peru’s legal leader.
Speaking at a news conference earlier in the day, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the government is conducting safe passage negotiations for Castillo’s family, who are at the Mexican Embassy in Lima.
Peru’s foreign minister, Ana Cecilia Gervasi, announced later Tuesday that it had formally approved the safe passage of Castillo’s wife and the couple’s two children.
Neither Mexican nor Peruvian authorities offered a timetable for when Castillo’s wife, Lilia Paredes, or their children would travel to Mexico.
Last week, the Mexican government issued a joint statement with left-wing Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia declaring Castillo the victim of “undemocratic harassment”.
Days later, the week-long government of President Dina Boluarte, who had previously served as Castillo’s vice president, summoned Peru’s ambassadors to their home for consultations on what it mocked as unacceptable interference in the country’s internal affairs.
Separately Tuesday, an important first step in Boluarte’s effort to call an early election was endorsed by lawmakers with 93 votes in favor and just 30 against. The proposal would bring the election to April 2024, two years before the elections currently scheduled for 2026.
Castillo attempted to flee to the Mexican Embassy shortly after his attempt to dissolve Congress, but was detained by the police before arriving.
Also Tuesday, a Peruvian court turned down prosecutors’ request to ban Paredes from leaving the country. He is under investigation for alleged involvement in a money laundering network that could include Castillo.
“Mexico protects the corrupt,” Peruvian opposition lawmaker Maria del Carmen Alva told reporters on Tuesday.
Lopez Obrador often says that his government prioritizes non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations, but has deviated from this principle when it comes to perceived ideological allies in Latin America.
Castillo will be held in pre-trial detention for 18 months after a judicial panel upheld prosecutors’ request for an extension as prosecutors investigate charges of riot and conspiracy against the former rural teacher, who won a close election under the Marxist banner last year. Free Peruvian Party.