The former president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, and that of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during a meeting in September 2021. Presidency of Mexico
"From this cell where I can only resist with the desire for the speedy freedom of my people, I greet you with all the strength and hope to thank you and all the Mexican people for supporting the just struggles of Peru and the permanent support to my family".
This is how the letter that the former Peruvian president Pedro Castillo sent from prison to Andrés Manuel López Obrador began this Monday.
The lawyer of the former Andean president, the Argentine Guido Leonardo Croxatto, met with the president of Mexico for just over an hour to send him a message from his client: Castillo wants López Obrador to lead the regional support for his cause.
"My freedom is secondary, the true freedom that must be supported, dear brother president, is that of our people," reads the manuscript in his handwriting.
Castillo, imprisoned since last December 7 after a failed self-coup attempt, insists that he is the legitimate representative of the Peruvian people and that the political crisis his country is going through is the product of racism.
"I feel like a continuator of the struggles that the Mexican people have always given," writes the former president.
"We have a thousand-year history of brotherhood," he adds after paying homage to the legacy of the Mayas and the Aztecs, and of "their ancestors, the Incas."
“Our indigenous brothers and sisters seem to have fewer rights than other citizens.
Racism continues ”, he assures.
The day he was arrested, the former president announced the dissolution of Congress by decree and the start of an emergency government in a national chain broadcast, but he did not get the support he expected and in a matter of hours he was arrested.
The letter that the former president of Peru has sent to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, through his lawyer.
In the two-page writing on graph paper, Castillo introduces Croxatto as his emissary and leader of his international defense strategy.
"I ask you to make the corresponding coordination with Guido, the team and the brothers of the Latin American countries included in this just cause to support Peru," said the former president.
Castillo denounces the harassment of his family and the repression of the people who have demonstrated since he left power.
"There are repressed and dozens of compatriots shot dead," he says.
"There is no justice," he concludes.
“I feel that I have less and less rights.
I'm not the only one".
Croxatto met in the middle of the month with Colombian President Gustavo Petro in Bogotá.
"From this cell I greet you with all the strength and hope of my people, the brother Colombian people," he wrote on that occasion.
The formula used with the Mexican president is practically the same: a short message to introduce his lawyer and thank them for the support provided in recent months.
Castillo's wife, Lilia Paredes, and his children, Arnold and Alondra Castillo, have been in exile in Mexico City since December 21.
"I met with Guido Croxatto, a lawyer for Pedro Castillo, the president who was illegally removed and is unjustly in prison, suffering from the classism and racism that sadly prevails in Peru," López Obrador said on his social networks. in which he shared the letter.
"It was not a coup, it was an atypical event," defended Croxatto in an interview with EL PAÍS, published on March 17, less than 48 hours after his meeting with Petro.
The lawyer explained that he met with López Obrador and with the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard.
The Government of Mexico has had several frictions with the internship of Dina Boluarte, who accuses that the North American country has meddled in internal affairs and that it is only the responsibility of Peruvians.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador (i), during the meeting with Pedro Castillo's Argentine lawyer, Guido Croxatto, in Mexico City this Monday. Presidency of Mexico (EFE / Presidency of Mexico)
After it became known which Mexican diplomats had met Castillo in prison and amid growing tensions that threatened a break in relations, the ambassador in Lima Pablo Monroy was named persona non grata and had to return to the
last December 23th.
In February, Boluarte withdrew his ambassador to Mexico and left a charge d'affaires, a sign of wear and tear between the two countries.
“A huge hug my fellow president.
Peru will never forget that Mexico was the first country to support us from day one," Castillo thanks before saying goodbye and signing as president.
"Pedro Castillo should be here, the blow was given to him," Petro said last week during the Ibero-American Summit in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.
"If Pedro Castillo is not here, it is because he carried out a coup," Peruvian Foreign Minister Ana Cecilia Gervasi retorted.
This month, the Peruvian justice system ordered precautionary measures against Castillo: 36 months in prison for leading a criminal organization and 18 months behind bars for the crime of rebellion.
Peru's political instability has resulted in six different presidents since 2018.
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