By Ana Cecilia Gervasi Díaz
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru
Our image abroad has always been a strength. As an emerging regional power, Peru is recognized for projecting itself to the world as a State that respects international law and a promoter of peace, democratic values and human rights, a State which is committed to cooperation and multilateralism to face global challenges, such as environmental preservation, gender equity, sustainable development and the economic promotion of the most vulnerable populations.
Today, in this difficult institutional situation and with Peru as a strategic partner in the region, there is no doubt that the events that have taken place have attracted the attention of the international community. However, it is regrettable that some governments of neighboring countries have chosen to interfere in the matter, which we strongly reject and on which we have been taking action.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru, I can assure you that, since last 7 December 2022, when former President Pedro Castillo attempted to break the constitutional order with a coup d’état, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru has redoubled its efforts to inform the international community of the true extent of the events in order to preserve our image abroad and to continue to promote trade, investment, tourism, and cooperation. We cannot allow huge lies to circulate about what happened and to insinuate that the Government does not respect democratic institutions and civil liberties.
Peru continues to participate actively in international meetings, conferences, and forums; opportunities in which our representatives, in close coherence with our foreign policy, have been reaffirming Peru’s commitment to democratic processes and the will to re-establish social peace, calling for dialogue and national unity to overcome this crisis.
At the Permanent Council of the OAS, Peru conveyed a message of commitment to a democratic, orderly and corruption-free transition, and of respect for peaceful protest in full compliance with its legal obligations and granting the broadest facilities to the Public Ministry to establish the truth and to allow justice to reach the families of the deceased and those who have been injured.
Personally, I have spoken with foreign ministers of the region and ambassadors accredited to the country; and, together with Prime Minister Alberto Otárola, I made a presentation to the diplomatic corps resident in Peru, on 13 January 2023, with a view to sharing information on the latest events, including the Government’s deep sorrow for the loss of lives in this context.
I have participated together with the President of the Council of Ministers in the presidential transfer of power in Brazil; together with the Minister of Economy and Finance, Alex Contreras, in the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland) and I recently spoke on behalf of the Head of State at the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I was once again emphatic in rejecting the distorted narrative of some countries that does not match the actual objective facts that took place in Peru.
With the same message of commitment to democracy and human rights, Vice Minister of Foreign Relations Ignacio Higueras made working visits to the capitals of Ecuador, Chile and Uruguay, during January 2023, to share his views on the situation.
Finally, an important tool for the strengthening of our international image is the strategy deployed through the Foreign Service Bodies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (embassies, consulates and permanent representations in international organizations), through which our officials have been making contact at the highest levels of Government, as well as in academic and cultural forums, media and other areas, in order to clarify information and deny offensive accusations such as that the Government has ordered violent repression of the demonstrations.
With a quick response from our ambassadors, through meetings, letters, articles and interviews in the international press, we have been able to transmit accurate information to the most relevant governmental and non-governmental actors and opinion leaders in different countries in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
It has thus been reaffirmed that, in the midst of the grief over the tragic deaths, the Government of Peru is conducting itself with full respect for the Constitution, as well as for International Law and Human Rights. This commitment is manifested in the invitations to carry out the recent technical visits of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Government persists in seeking a broad and inclusive dialogue that allows us to address the legitimate demands of our citizens while respecting democracy. Thus, we are confident that we will continue to count on the support and solidarity of the international community so that we can find an internal solution in favour of the stability of the country and the well-being of all Peruvians. At the same time, it is appropriate to emphasize that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru will not rest in its efforts to preserve our valuable international image.