Mexican ambassador expelled from Peru for interference

MEXICO — In a rollercoaster day for Mexico’s relations with Peru, Mexico announced on Tuesday that it had granted asylum to the family of ousted Peruvian President Pedro Castillo. A few hours later, Peru declared the Mexican ambassador in Lima persona non grata and ordered him to leave within 72 hours.

Peru’s foreign ministry said without giving further details that Castillo’s wife, Lilia Paredes, was under criminal investigation in the South American country, where allegations of corruption had dogged the administration of her husband.

Paredes and the couple’s two children were at the Mexican Embassy in Lima. Peru said it would allow the family to leave for Mexico, but may later require Mexico to extradite Paredes Navarro if she eventually faces charges in Peru.

Peru’s foreign ministry said in its social media accounts on Tuesday that it was expelling Mexican ambassador Pablo Monroy because of “repeated statements by the highest authorities in that country about the political situation in Peru.”

It was an apparent reference to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who said Castillo’s impeachment after he tried to dissolve Peru’s Congress on December 7 was inappropriate.

Peruvian lawmakers quickly ousted Castillo the same day and he was placed under arrest, being investigated on charges he attempted to usurp power in violation of the country’s constitutional order. .

Peruvian officials said López Obrador’s comments amounted to interference in Peru’s internal affairs.

Mexico’s foreign relations department said its embassy in Peru would remain open and operating normally, and it had asked Ambassador Monroy to return to Mexico.

Also on Tuesday, Peru’s Congress tentatively approved a plan to hold snap elections in a bid to defuse the ongoing national political crisis that has sparked deadly street protests since Castillo’s impeachment.

The proposal, approved by 91 of the 130 members of the legislature, would push back until April 2024 the presidential and congressional elections originally scheduled for 2026. The plan – which aims to add an article to Peru’s constitution – must be ratified by another two-thirds majority. at the next annual legislative session for adoption.


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