The Peruvian Congress has refused to allow President Pedro Castillo to leave the country to attend the inauguration ceremony of Gustavo Petro as president of Colombia, scheduled for August 7.
On August 1, the Peruvian president had sent a letter to Congress, requesting permission to leave the country in order to attend the inauguration ceremony of Colombian President-elect Petro’s administration. He had asked Congress to allow him to leave Peru and be in Bogota during August 6–8.
However, during the parliamentary session this Friday, August 5, the deputies rejected the request with 67 votes, while 42 deputies voted in favor of Castillo, and another five abstained.
Castillo will now have to designate one of his ministers or an official to represent him at Petro’s inauguration, which will bring together many special guests, including various heads of state, politicians and diplomats.
This is the first time in the last three decades that a president has not been allowed by the parliament of the country to travel on an official mission.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will not attend Petro’s inauguration either, as the outgoing president of Colombia, Iván Duque, has refused to let Maduro enter the country.
After learning of the decision of the Congress, Pedro Castillo made a statement in which he lamented that the Congress, “in an unusual and arrogant way,” did not authorize his trip to Colombia to attend Petro’s inauguration. “This dents the democratic ties with the sister republic of Colombia,” he wrote on Twitter.
Desde el Ejecutivo siempre hemos respetado la independencia de los poderes del Estado. Lamento que, de forma inusual y prepotente, el @congresoperu me impida asistir a un acto protocolar internacional. Este hecho mella los lazos democráticos con la hermana República de Colombia.
— Pedro Castillo Terrones (@PedroCastilloTe) August 5, 2022
Peruvian Foreign Minister César Landa urged Congress to reverse the decision, as it would affect Peru’s international image.
“Our international image is once again being called into question by the fact that the president’s trip to the presidential change of command ceremony in Colombia has not been authorized. I call on the members of Congress, who on other occasions have reversed decisions to honour Peru’s international commitments,” Landa expressed.
Currently, the Peruvian president is facing a record of five prosecutorial investigations for alleged corruption, cases that have been promoted by the opposition.
In fact, this was used by the right-wing blocs of the parliament to reject the president’s request for traveling to Bogota. Various members of parliament even hinted that the president was trying to evade the scheduled interrogations. Castillo, however, has maintained that he does not intend to obstruct the judiciary in any way.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune