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Latin American countries call for respecting rule of law, democracy amid Peruvian turmoil

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LIMA, PERU: Protesters against Peruvian President Pedro Castillo gather in outside the Peruvian Republican Congress as Vice President Dina Boluarte (not seen) swears in as Peru's new leader after Congress removes President Pedro Castillo in Lima, Peru on December 07, 2022. (John Reyes - Anadolu Agency)
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Dec 08, 2022 - 06:21 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Latin American countries reacted with concern Wednesday following the ouster by Peru’s Congress of President Pedro Castillo and Vice President Dina Boluarte’s swearing-in as the country’s new leader.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called for respecting human rights and democracy in Peru after police arrested Castillo following his attempt to dissolve Congress in the morning.

“Non-intervention and self-determination of peoples is a pivotal principle of our foreign policy. That is what we adhere to in the case of Peru,” said Lopez Obrador.

Castillo had said in a televised speech that he would demand congressional elections to approve a new Constitution, an announcement he made just hours before lawmakers voted to oust him from office.

However, Lopez Obrador said on Twitter that Mexico considers it regrettable that “due to the interests of the economic and political elites, since the beginning of the legitimate presidency of Pedro Castillo, an atmosphere of confrontation and hostility has been maintained against him, until it led him to make decisions that have served his adversaries to consummate his dismissal with the sui generis precept of ‘moral incapacity,'”

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard also took to Twitter to express regret over the events in Peru. He wished “respect for democracy and human rights for the good of that endearing sister nation.”

Colombia’s Foreign Ministry expressed “concern over the political crisis in Peru” in a statement. The ministry also expressed “solidarity with the brotherly Peruvian people” and called on “all political actors for dialogue to safeguard democracy.”

Bogota “condemns any attack against democracy, wherever it comes from,” the statement added, recalling that “democracy requires the recognition of the popular will expressed both in the elections for president and for congress.”

Concern expressed over political situation in Peru

Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry also expressed “its deep concern about the political situation in the sister country of Peru.” The country “called on all political actors to maintain the rule of law and democracy and on the international community to “facilitate the democratic process in Peru.

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it is following with concern the internal political situation in Peru.

The measures adopted on Dec. 7 “by President Pedro Castillo, which are incompatible with that country’s constitutional framework, represent a violation of democracy and the rule of law currently in force,” it said. “The constitutional decision of the Peruvian Congress is expected to represent the guarantee of a fully functioning democratic State in Peru.”

“The Brazilian Government expresses its willingness to continue to maintain the solid relations of friendship and cooperation that unite the two countries and wishes President Dina Boluarte success in her role as Head of the Peruvian State,” it added.

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry also expressed “deep concern” over Peru’s political crisis in a statement on Twitter. The country called on “all political and social actors to safeguard democratic institutions, the rule of law and constitutional order.”

The Foreign Ministry of Chile also condemned “the rupture of the constitutional order in Peru” on Twitter and added that it “appreciates that the political crisis derived from it is being addressed through institutional channels.”

Chile hopes that the assumption of Dina Boluarte as the new president of Peru will “help to overcome this difficult moment,” it said. “Political crises are better resolved when they deepen democracy and open paths for dialogue between the different social actors.”

Bolivia also expressed its “deep concern” over the political crisis in Peru and called “on all political actors to guarantee democratic principles, constitutional order and the rule of law.”

Peru’s ombudsman calls Castillo’s attempt to dissolve Congress ‘coup’

Vice President Boluarte “rejected” Castillo’s decision to “perpetrate the breakdown of the constitutional order by closing the Congress,” while the nation’s ombudsman called Castillo’s attempt to dissolve Congress a “coup.”

Following the chaos generated by Castillo’s statement, local media reported that the president had gone to the Mexican embassy in the capital Lima to request asylum.

A video circulating on social media showed how the police intercepted the car in which Castillo was being transported and took him to the police station.

The former president had gone through two unsuccessful impeachment proceedings and was facing investigations for allegedly committing crimes related to a “criminal organization,” but he had denied the allegations, saying “economic interest groups” were looking to oust him.

Peru has had five presidents since 2016, including Castillo, who was elected to serve from 2021-2026.

In 2018, then-President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski faced an impeachment motion but resigned before the vote.

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