Name? José Pedro Castillo Terrones
Westphalian identity? Peruvian
Why is he in the news? President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, will not attend the summit for the Pacific Alliance in Mexico this Friday, a trade alliance between Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile. Because of this, the summit has been postponed. The purpose of the summit for the Pacific alliance was to recommit to the terms of the alliance and to transfer the organisation’s presidency to … Pedro Castillo.
Why do we care? Pedro Castillo has been facing a string of challenges with his opposing congress at home. The reason for his absence is that Congress denied him permission to travel abroad for the summit given the recent criminal investigation for corruption that was opened against him by the Attorney General of Peru; this process is only possible because Congress voted to allow the persecution of a sitting president.
Why should you care? Peruvian politics at the moment are the most unstable they have been in over a decade. Congress has impeded Castillo’s ability to carry out high politics at a crucial time for the region. If governments with opposing heads-of-state in Latin America — like that of Gustavo Petro of Colombia, Lula da Silva in Brazil, and Gabriel Boric in Chile — come in the way of regional cooperation, it could cost Latin America its capacity to jointly negotiate for their interests during the upcoming Presidency of Spain in the European Council, where Pedro Sanchez wants to focus European attention towards Latin America. You should care 4/10.
Who else cares? Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) accused the Peruvian congress of wrongfully persecuting Castillo because he comes from a poor village in the mountains and presents a threat to the political establishment. This story is quite familiar to the one he spins about himself within Mexico.
Any further comments? This is the fourth time Peru’s congress has prohibited Castillo from making a foreign visit.