Mexico’s ambassador in Lima has been summoned by Peru’s foreign ministry over complaints of Mexico’s interference in its internal affairs after senior officials weighed the ouster of former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo earlier this week.
Castillo, who was ousted from office on Wednesday after trying to dissolve the Peruvian 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 Castillo had sought asylum, and Mexican President Lopez Obrador has criticized Peru’s elites and called for the ousted president’s human rights to be protected.
Lopez Obrado also said he instructed Ambassador Pablo Monroy to “open the door of the embassy” to Castillo. Monroy reportedly met with Castillo on Thursday.
A statement by Peru’s foreign ministry on Friday said the “comments by the Mexican authorities constitute an interference in Peru’s internal affairs and do not reflect the events of the past few days.”
It added that the “comments by these (Mexican) authorities on the right of asylum sought by former President Castillo (we) informed Ambassador Monroy that states must follow all the regulations set out in the current international treaties and meet all requirements. ”
It also stressed the “mutual respect and norms of international law” and the “long tradition of friendship” between Mexico and Peru.
In his tweet, Ebrard shared a copy of the letter, which was apparently signed by Castillo’s attorney on Thursday.
“I have the high honor of addressing you and, given the recent political events in this country, of which you are very well aware, I ask you to consider granting asylum to citizen Pedro José Castillo Terrones” said read the letter.
Ebrard said his government had “begun consultations with the Peruvian authorities” and confirmed Monroy had met with Castillo.
“He found him physically healthy and with his attorney,” Ebrard said.
On the same day, Mexico’s leftist President Obrador told journalists that Castillo tried to go to the Mexican embassy in Lima to seek asylum.
“I contacted Marcelo Ebrard and informed him. I asked him to speak to the ambassador (Monroy) and open the door of the embassy according to our asylum tradition,” the president told journalists. “We ask that his human rights be respected.”
“We deeply regret what happened because, since Pedro Castillo won legally and legitimately and was the victim of harassment and confrontation, his opponents, especially the economic and political elites of this country, have not accepted that he governs, among other things, and that’s what I regret most,” he added.
Asked on Friday morning if she would agree to speak to Lopez Obrador on the matter and grant Castillo safe passage, Peru’s new President Dina Boluarte told journalists she would abide by the law.
“I’ve always obeyed the law. We will follow the asylum law that should come from the Mexican government in the case of the former president and his family.”
Castillo is currently on a seven-day provisional detention ordered by the Supreme Court on Thursday.
His arrest marks a humiliating downturn in Castillo’s brief political career. The former schoolteacher and union leader rose from obscurity to be narrowly elected in a July 2021 runoff. and was seen as part of a “pink tide” of new left leaders in Latin America.
He ran on a platform that promised to rewrite the constitution and increase wealth redistribution by giving states greater control over markets and natural resources, promises he made in light of Peru’s rising inflation, its lack of political experience and his strong conservative opposition in Congress.