Mexico’s president said Thursday he will skip November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco because his country “does not have relations” with Peru.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has previously claimed that Peru’s current government was installed by a coup and that he still considers ousted president Pedro Castillo as the country’s legitimate leader.
Both countries have recalled their ambassadors following the comments.
It wouldn’t be the first time López Obrador has skipped international meetings in the United States because of who else was or wasn’t invited. Last year, he skipped the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles because Nicaragua and Venezuela were not invited.
Leaders from across the Pacific are scheduled to attend the 21-member APEC forum scheduled for November 11-17.
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López Obrador’s comments were the strongest indication yet that he does not recognize current Peruvian President Dina Boluarte.
Boluarte took office in 2022 after then-President Castillo was removed from Parliament and jailed after trying to dissolve Congress to avoid a vote to remove him from office. Castillo, who was Peru’s first leader from an Andean peasant background, was plagued by corruption scandals and a revolving-door cabinet.
In February, Boluarte withdrew her country’s ambassador in response to López Obrador’s comments, and Mexico’s ambassador was declared persona non grata.
Mexico’s official position is that it neither recognizes nor denies recognition from the governments of other countries, but has not explained how that policy fits with López Obrador’s statements.
Police in Peru responded to street protests against Castillo’s removal with actions that left 67 dead, mostly protesters, according to the country’s Ombudsman.
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While López Obrador has criticized the killing of protesters in Peru, he has been criticized for saying little about the hundreds of Nicaraguans killed or exiled by President Daniel Ortega’s government.