| 9 December 2023, Saturday |

Mexico president says he’ll skip APEC summit in November in San Francisco

Mexico’s president announced on Thursday that he will not attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November in San Francisco, citing the absence of diplomatic relations between Mexico and Peru as the reason for his decision.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has claimed previously that Peru’s current government was installed by a coup and that he still considers ousted president Pedro Castillo to be the country’s legitimate leader.

Both countries have recalled their ambassadors following those comments.

It would not be the first time that 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 around the Pacific rim are scheduled to attend the 21-member APEC forum scheduled for Nov. 11-17.

López Obrador’s comments were the most forceful indication yet that he doesn’t recognize current Peruvian President Dina Boluarte.

Boluarte took office in 2022 after then-President Castillo was removed by Parliament and jailed after trying to dissolve Congress to avoid a vote on his removal from office. Castillo, who was Peru’s first leader from a rural Andean background, was plagued by corruption scandals and a revolving-door Cabinet.

In February, Boluarte withdrew her country’s ambassador in response to the comments by López Obrador, and Mexico’s ambassador was declared persona non grata.

Mexico’s formal position is that it neither recognizes nor withholds recognition from other countries’ governments, but has not explained how that policy squares 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.

While López Obrador has slammed the killing of protesters in Peru, he has been criticized for saying little about the hundreds of Nicaraguans killed or exiled by the government of President Daniel Ortega.