Ousted President Pedro Castillo was ordered jailed for 18 months by order of the Peruvian Supreme Court as authorities investigate his attempt to dissolve the Peruvian congress. File photo by Spencer Platt/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Mexico's ambassador has been ordered to leave Peru within 72 hours after the Mexican government offered asylum to the family of recently ousted President Pedro Castillo.
A statement from the Peruvian foreign ministry in Lima on Tuesday labeled Mexican Ambassador Pablo Monroy as "persona non grata" and gave him three full days to leave the country.
In statements posted to social media, Peru's foreign ministry said Monroy was being expelled due to "the repeated statements by that country's highest authorities about the political situation in Peru."
The widespread unrest has gripped the country for two weeks after Castillo, who was facing impeachment, attempted a self-coup by dissolving Congress and installing a pseudo-government.
However, Castillo's cabinet immediately resigned and the Peruvian Supreme Court had the president arrested and removed from office. Castillo has since been jailed for 18 months to await trial on charges of rebellion and conspiracy, for which he faces decades in prison.
The arrest sparked violent protests that have left at least 26 people dead and more than 500 injured since Dec. 7. The unrest also stranded hundreds of tourists in Machu Picchu after protesters blocked a railway with large boulders.
Adding to the uproar, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador irked the Peruvian government in recent days after he made comments criticizing Castillo's arrest.
Obrador called Castillo the victim of "harassment" by "his adversaries, especially the economic and political elites of that country."
The statement amounted to "unacceptable interference in internal affairs, in clear violation to the principle of non-intervention," Peru's foreign ministry said Tuesday.
Last week, the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico issued a joint statement claiming that Castillo had faced "undemocratic harassment" since he took office in 2021.
This week, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he had offered asylum to Castillo's family, who were holed up inside the Mexican embassy in Lima as protests continued to flare over Castillo's ouster.
On Tuesday, Ana Cecilia Gervasi Diaz -- Mexico's Foreign Minister inside Peru -- said Castillo's wife and children would be granted safe passage to leave the country.
Meanwhile, Peru's Defense Minister Luis Alberto Otárola has declared a state of emergency and ordered the country's military to protect streets and government buildings.
Protesters have called for government officials to resign en masse, but Peru's new President Dina Boluarte has resisted.
In an attempt to quell the pandemonium, Boluarte -- the country's first female leader -- has offered the possibility of holding early presidential and parliamentary elections after Peru's Congress snubbed constitutional amendments that were necessary for an emergency election to be held next year.
On Tuesday lawmakers voted in favor of a proposal that would allow the 2026 election to take place in April 2024.
Castillo's wife, Lilia Paredes, is also being investigated in connection with the alleged criminal enterprise led by her husband.