Mexican president confirms regional meeting canceled

November 22, 2022 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president confirmed Tuesday that a planned meeting this week of the regional group known as the Pacific Alliance will not take place, because Peru’s congress did not give that country’s president permission to leave the country.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo currently holds the presidency of the Pacific Alliance, but he has been locked in ongoing disputes with his country’s congress over corruption allegations.

“They did not allow the President of Peru to attend,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said, adding, “It is possible that we could could go to hold the meeting there (in Peru) in December.”

López Obrador also confirmed that Argentine President Alberto Fernandez and Brazil’s president-elect, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, are not coming to the planned meeting in Mexico City this week.

López Obrador had hoped to host the presidents of those countries, as well as Chile and Colombia, but he confirmed the leaders of the latter two countries are coming.

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Castillo faces five investigations for alleged corruption. He has denied all the accusations against him.

He cannot be formally accused by a judge because Peru’s constitution says the president can only be accused of treason, dissolving congress without reason and for not allowing elections.

Castillo was a rural teacher before he shocked Peru’s political elite by winning election as president campaigning on promises to improve education, health care and other services. But the political neophyte’s first year has seen near constant turmoil, with Cabinet members changing multiple times and Castillo staving off two impeachment attempts.