Mexico says it is consulting with Peru about Castillo .’s asylum claim


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Peruvian President Pedro Castillo addresses the audience during the opening ceremony of the Seventh Ministerial Conference on Government and Digital Transformation of the Americas, in Lima, Peru November 10, 2022. REUTERS /Sebastian Castaneda/File Photo


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has begun consultations with Peruvian authorities regarding former President Pedro Castillo’s request for asylum in the country, Mexico’s foreign minister said on Twitter on Thursday.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the Mexican ambassador to Peru met with Castillo where he is being held. Castillo was arrested after attempting to dissolve Congress on Wednesday in a ultimately failed attempt to avoid an impeachment vote.

Ebrard shared a copy of Castillo’s asylum application written by his lawyer, in which the lawyer alleges Castillo is “in grave danger” in Peru and that he has suffered “unfounded abuse keep.”

The lawyer also wrote that he could not see Castillo in the letter, which Ebrard said the Mexican embassy received at 2 a.m. local time.

The Peruvian authorities “acted politically against (Castillo),” wrote attorney Victor Gilbert Perez, “to the extent that they intended to prosecute him solely for notices of will or intent without constitute any criminal act.”

Castillo, a former teacher and union activist, was arrested Wednesday on criminal charges of “sedition and conspiracy,” according to prosecutors. He also faces separate corruption charges, which he denies.

A preliminary hearing on Thursday sought to assess the legality of Castillo’s arrest, as well as refer to an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office into allegations he orchestrated an investigation. rebellion.

Earlier Thursday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Castillo called him Wednesday to say he was on his way to the Mexican embassy in Peru to seek asylum.

However, Castillo was arrested and never went to the embassy, ​​Lopez Obrador said.

On Wednesday, Ebrard said Mexico has a history of granting asylum to people facing political persecution.

In 2019, Mexico was briefly home to former Bolivian President Evo Morales, who fled the country amid unrest following a controversial election. Lopez Obrador has also offered asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

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