Backing under-fire Peruvian leader Pedro Castillo, the presidents of Argentina and Bolivia on Thursday expressed their concern over growing unrest in Peru and called for respect for "democracy and the popular vote" in the country.
Luis Arce, who was visiting Buenos Aires at the request of President Alberto Fernández for talks over natural gas supplies, said at a Casa Rosada press conference that "the Peruvian right-wing wants to wrest from the streets what was not won at the ballot box, and we regret this."
The Bolivian leader insisted that "we must respect democracy and the popular vote of the Peruvian people, who decided for one option, and we regret that there are hints that go against this democracy."
Castillo, who has been in power for barely eight months, avoided impeachment by Congress, where the opposition has a majority, on March 29. But tensions have been mounting since last Monday with protests in Lima and other regions against rising fuel and food prices.
The leftist leader decreed a curfew but was forced to reverse the measure amid widespread condemnation and new protests.
Speaking Thursday, Fernández also expressed his "concern" over events in Peru and called for “the attention of all Latin American leaders” to be directed at the troubled nation.
"What is happening in Peru should draw the attention of the entire Latin American community," he warned, urging the region to explore how “the democratic governments of Latin America can make a clearer expression in favour of preserving Peru's institutionality."
Since the Peruvian leader’s inauguration, "they tried to remove President Castillo from office more than once and failed to get the necessary votes in Congress, and when they failed in that attempt they generated a social climate that is putting Castillo's institutional situation in crisis," warned the Argentine leader.
Fernández affirmed that the political situation in Peru had occupied "a very good part" of his dialogue with Arce, just as it was addressed last Monday during a meeting with the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric.
Peru has experienced great political instability in recent years. The previous president, centrist leader Martín Vizcarra, was impeached by Congress in November 2020, and before that, right-wing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned in March 2018 when it became clear he would not survive a second impeachment trial.