1676750522 The Peruvian Congress declares Gustavo Petro persona non grata and

The Peruvian Congress declares Gustavo Petro “persona non grata” and exacerbates the bilateral crisis with Colombia

A session of the Peruvian Congress last Friday.A session of the Peruvian Congress, last Friday Congress of Peru (EFE)

The Peruvian Congress has agreed to declare Colombian President Gustavo Petro persona non grata in record time. Barely three days after the motion was approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee, the matter was brought to the plenary session on Friday, and after an hour of parliamentary debate, this right-wing-sponsored initiative was passed with 72 votes in favour, 29 against and 7 abstentions. Conservative political forces do not forgive Petro for saying that the Peruvian police are “marching like Nazis against their own people” amid mobilizations calling for snap elections and the resignation of President Dina Boluarte for more than two months.

Maricarmen Alva, the former President of Congress, who in turn chairs the Foreign Relations Commission, hailed the statement against the Colombian leader “as a rejection of his offensive statements that offend our police force. Peru is democratic and enforces respect for its law enforcement.” In the past few days, Fuerza Popular leader Keiko Fujimori, who reappeared on the public stage after meeting Dina Boluarte at the palace, showed her disapproval of Petro ruthlessly: “I “I will publicly ask him not to stick his red nose in Peru. Peru has defeated terrorism and we will not accept foreign terrorism. My total rejection of the guerrilla Gustavo Petro”.

It was only a matter of time before Dina Boluarte, the first woman to cross the country’s presidential ribbon, did the same. This Saturday, the President was energetic and called her counterpart. “We reject all kinds of interference with our history; From here I urge Mr. Petro to dedicate himself to the government of Colombia. that its streets also fill with protests and that it is left to us Peruvians to resolve ours”. He also described his statements as “sad” and pointed out that “he encourages the Peruvian people from the outside”.

What does it mean that Congress officially declared Gustavo Petro persona non grata? Basically a break in bilateral relations with Colombia. Relations have not been the best since Boluarte came to power after Pedro Castillo’s frustrated self-coup. Petro has not recognized Boluarte as Peru’s president, but has defended himself in favor of Castillo, blaming Congress and the opposition for cornering him from day one. “The popularly elected president is from the mountains and one of the reasons they’re beating him down is because he’s from the mountains, because he’s poor,” he said. On January 24, during the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), Petro continued to campaign for Castillo, who was sentenced to 18 months in custody: “Why is a popularly elected president in prison today when there isn’t one Judgment given by the criminal judge against you? He and his constituents lost political rights. There is an open breach of the Inter-American system of human rights.”

The motion passed by Congress includes a warning to the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Relations to take the necessary steps to ensure that Gustavo Petro “does not enter the national territory”. In it, its officialization is decided as persona non grata: no longer to step on Peru. Petro’s last visit to Lima dates back to August 2022 when he met Pedro Castillo at the XIII. Andean Council of Presidents met. Ever since Dina Boluarte sat in the palace, Peru has expelled Mexican ambassador Pablo Monroy and barred former Bolivian President Evo Morales from entering.

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