Tourists are stranded in Peru due to protests 0:59
Jorge G. Castañeda is a contributor to CNN.
He was Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Relations from 2000 to 2003. He is currently a professor at New York University and his most recent book, “America Through Foreign Eyes,” was published by Oxford University Press in 2020. The views expressed in this commentary They are solely the author's.
You can find more opinion pieces at CNNe.com/opinion.
(CNN Spanish) --
(CNN Spanish) --
The failed coup attempt in Peru and the subsequent departure from power through the vacancy of Pedro Castillo have already been widely commented on in the regional and international media.
It is assumed that Castillo suffered a troubled presidency, the product of his own mistakes and limitations, and the ruthless pressure of the Peruvian right and Fujimorismo, as well as the contempt - sometimes racist - of the Lima elites.
Likewise, many have highlighted the resilience of Peru's institutions, in rejecting the coup, and the hitherto smooth succession from Castillo to Dina Boluarte, the acting vice president.
That said, the protests in various regions, the call for early elections and Castillo's attitude can complicate everything.
Much less has been discussed about the Latin American reaction to the aforementioned events.
In part, this is due to the speed with which events occurred.
Between the announcement of the self-coup and the arrest of the former president – a period that included the large vote for the vacancy due to “permanent moral incapacity” – barely three hours elapsed.
It was difficult for foreign ministries or embassies to define themselves before each event, when the next one was already taking place.
However, the United States quickly condemned Castillo's speech, while most Latin American governments waited long enough to witness Castillo's arrest and imprisonment.
Some 300 tourists are stranded in Machu Picchu due to protests amid the crisis in Peru
Some Latin American leaders took refuge in clever euphemisms.
The presidents of Argentina and Chile "regretted" the Peruvian situation, for example, without going into greater detail about each of the moments in the saga.
Others, such as Lula, Brazil's president-elect, underscored the "constitutional" nature of the impeachment and replacement process for Pedro Castillo, without condemning his attempt to dissolve Congress, decree a curfew, and convene a constituent assembly. .
Others, finally, like López Obrador from Mexico, and Gustavo Petro from Colombia, not to mention the three dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, rather insisted on the removal of Castillo and on the elitist sedition of a racist and reactionary Peruvian right. , which hindered his rule from day one.
It is possible that the absence of a generalized condemnation of Castillo's coup attempt is due to the timing or rhythm, precisely despite the aforementioned counterexample from the United States.
It is also true that the factors that led Castillo to his measure of despair – from the harassment of Fujimorismo to the bizarre version according to which someone provided him with a hallucinatory concoction – partially excuse Latin Americans.
What are the claims of the Peruvians who demand the reinstatement of Pedro Castillo as president?
In the same way, the apparent outcome of the whole farce leads many to insist on the good, and not on the bad origin of what happened.
And surely the way Castillo's downfall fuels the racist narrative in Latin America should not be encouraged.
There has been a myth since time immemorial that the poor, the natives of rural areas, those who do not have a complete education, the indigenous people, those with brown or dark skin, do not know how to or cannot govern.
There are plenty of counterexamples, from Benito Juárez to Lula, but the false narrative survives and it is necessary to avoid any pronouncement that strengthens it.
The truth of this case is simple: Castillo was not fit to govern, not for those reasons, but because of his own characteristics, in no way extendable to others.
People like López Obrador or Petro resist,
But this should not justify the lack of condemnation of the failed coup, especially when protests have broken out in various regions of the country, and the new president has been forced, almost immediately, to call new elections for April 2024. A A coup is a coup and must be condemned, whether or not it has prospered, whether or not the constitutional channels have been restored, whether or not the person responsible for wanting to suspend said channels is released and receives asylum.
For this reason, the silence of several Latin American governments or personalities is strange.
Why are there protests in Peru?
What are the protesters demanding?
The reluctance of the Latin American foreign ministries to convene an emergency meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS), or of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), which includes Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, but does not to the United States and Canada.
Argentina chairs the second, and any member country can request that the Permanent Council or the so-called OAS consultation body meet.
A meeting of one organization or another would make it possible to invoke the Inter-American Democratic Charter, to condemn the coup attempt unequivocally, and to support Peruvian institutions at a time when the protests seem to be increasing in intensity.
A meeting of this nature would be all the more desirable and necessary if a feeling of inversion of the facts shines through in certain sectors of the region.
In some circles Castillo is beginning to be placed in the role of the victim, and Congress in that of the coup plotters.
Several legislators in Mexico, numerous protesters in Peru, the leaders of the three dictatorships and the former president of Bolivia Evo Morales are turning the former Peruvian president into a hero, demanding "the freedom of brother Pedro Castillo."
The Government of Cuba stated: "The situation in Peru is the result of a process led by the dominant oligarchies to subvert the popular will that had elected their government in accordance with the Peruvian legal system."
In a joint communiqué, the governments of Colombia, Mexico,
State of emergency in Peru: what it means, when, where and what restrictions are there
At the same time, the convening of a constituent assembly is demanded, calling into question the legitimacy of the new president.
López Obrador's attempts to asylum Castillo in Mexico, while he is already in prison and accused of sedition, an act witnessed by the entire country on national television, go in the same direction.
Castillo himself sent a letter to his followers on December 12 stating that he continued to hold the constitutional mandate of president.
The deterioration of the situation demands that Latin America defend democracy collectively, and that its "left" governments do so in a particular way.
Unless that democracy should only be defended when it benefits one of their own (as if Castillo were), and not in all cases.