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Peru recalls ambassador to Mexico over diplomatic row

By AFP - Feb 25,2023 - Last updated at Feb 25,2023

In this file photo taken on February 10, Peru's President Dina Boluarte speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Lima. Peruvian President Dina Boluarte announced, on Friday (AFP photo)

LIMA — Peruvian President Dina Boluarte announced on Friday the "definitive recall" of her ambassador to Mexico, citing the continued support that the North American country has given to deposed president Pedro Castillo.

Peru's leftist former president Castillo was impeached and arrested for attempting to dissolve parliament and rule by decree in December, and Boluarte has since seen weeks of anti-government protests across the Andean nation calling for her removal.

Castillo's ouster was criticised by leftist Latin American allies, including Mexico, which has sparked a diplomatic row.

On Friday, Boluarte denounced the "unacceptable" interference in the internal affairs of Peru by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

"I have ordered the definitive recall of our ambassador to Mexico," Boluarte said in a televised address, adding that the embassy will now be led by a charge d'affaires.

The Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it "regrets the decision" to reduce diplomatic relations but that it will maintain its own diplomatic representation in Peru at the existing level "to promote ties" between the two and support Mexicans in Peru.

The decision to withdraw ambassador Manuel Talavera Espinar came as Lopez Obrador again insisted that "Mexico will continue to support [Castillo], who was unjustly and illegally removed from office".

Boluarte, in her televised remarks, said, "I strongly reject the remarks made today by the president of Mexico on Peru's internal affairs and his repeated unacceptable questioning of the constitutional and democratic origins of my government."

She added that Lopez Obrador has "decided to support the coup d'etat carried out by the now former president Pedro Castillo on December 7, 2022".

Lopez Obrador has been one of Castillo's most fervent foreign supporters, along with the fellow leftist leaders of Bolivia, Argentina and Colombia.

Peru had already expelled the Mexican ambassador at the end of December, after Mexico granted political asylum to Castillo's wife and two sons.

At least 48 people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters since unrest broke out on December 7, following his impeachment and arrest.

The demonstrations are driven by poor southern, Indigenous Peruvians who perceive Castillo — who is also from humble origins and has Indigenous roots — as an ally in their fight against poverty, racism and inequality.


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