Congressional travel ban could ban Peru’s president from attending Lula’s inauguration in Brazil

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Lima, Peru – President Pedro Castillo announced earlier this month that Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President-elect of Brazil, had invited him to attend the inauguration ceremony to be held early next year in Brasilia.

However, to attend, Mr. Castillo must apply for a travel permit from Congress, which could be denied, as happened recently.

A week ago, several opposition parties in Congress announcement that they would reject the Head of State’s request to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum summit in Thailand. On November 4, Mr. Castillo renounces the trip and withdraws the request addressed to Parliament.

Also, on Monday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico announcement that it was likely that a summit of the leaders of the Pacific Alliance trading bloc – Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – would be postponed due to travel restrictions imposed by Castillo.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President-elect of Brazil. Image courtesy of BCNChile (CC BY 2.0)

Months earlier, Congress prohibited Mr. Castillo to travel to several European countries, including the Vatican, where he was to be received by Pope Francis. In August 2022, Parliament also refused him the right to travel to Colombia for the inauguration of President Gustavo Petro.

On both occasions, the opposition in Congress prevented Mr. Castillo from traveling, arguing that he had six criminal investigations opened against him. The prosecution accuses the president of being at the head of a network of corruption rooted in the government.

Castillo too faces a constitutional complaint filed by the Attorney General of Peru for alleged conspiracy, influence peddling and collusion.

Lula’s invitation

On November 8, Mr. Castillo said on Twitter that he had spoken with Lula da Silva to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential elections. democracy, economy, social inclusion and sustainable development of his country,” he wrote.

He also told him that he was ready to continue to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries in “the common challenges of growth, human development, environment and security”.

“I appreciate the personal invitation he gave me to attend the inauguration ceremony,” he added.

The inauguration ceremony will take place on January 1, 2023 in Brasilia.

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