Argentina's Fernandez, Mexico's Lopez Obrador, Colombia's Petro and Bolivia's Arce sign joint statement, calling Castillo a "victim of undemocratic harassment" and demanding "popular will" of Peruvians be respected.

A supporter of former Peruvian president Pedro Castillo wears a mask to protect himself from tear gas during a protest near Congress in Lima.
A supporter of former Peruvian president Pedro Castillo wears a mask to protect himself from tear gas during a protest near Congress in Lima. (AFP)

The presidents of Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia and Mexico have signed a joint statement calling for the rights and health of Peru's ousted President Pedro Castillo to be guaranteed and the "popular will" of the Peruvian people to be respected amid the volatile political situation in the country.

"The governments of the Argentine Republic, the Republic of Colombia, the United Mexican States and the Plurinational State of Bolivia express their deep concern over the recent events that resulted in the removal and detention of Jose Pedro Castillo Terrones, President of the Republic of Peru," said the statement on Tuesday.

It was signed by the leaders of the four countries — Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Bolivian President Luis Arce.

It said that from the day of Castillo's election, he was "the victim of undemocratic harassment" and went on to call for "all the actors involved in the previous process to prioritise the will of the citizens that was decided at the polls."

"We urge those who make up the institutions (in Peru) to refrain from reversing the popular will expressed with free suffrage," it added.

The statement concluded by calling on Peruvian authorities to fully respect Castillo's human rights and for him to be given "guaranteed judicial protection."

Earlier on Tuesday, Mexican President Lopez Obrador announced at a news conference that he still recognises Castillo as Peru's president, saying the decision behind his removal was grounded in "anti-democratic flaws."

Lopez Obrador also insisted that he would not recognise Dina Boluarte, the president elected by Peru's Congress, as the country's legitimate leader.

Peru armed forces to take control of infrastructure 

Earlier, Boularte pledged to work with Congress to see if the next election could be held sooner than previously proposed, as street protests showed few signs of letting up.

Boluarte, who has already pledged to seek a way to hold the election slated for 2026 in April 2024, pleaded for calm.

Peru's armed forces will take control of the "protection" of key infrastructure like airports and hydroelectric plants as protests continue across the country, the country's defence minister.

The government will also declare the country's highway system under a state of emergency in order to guarantee free transit, Defence Minister Alberto Otarola said.

Castillo was removed from office on December 7 by Congress following his attempt to dissolve parliament hours before it was set to begin fresh impeachment proceedings against him — the third since he assumed office in July 2021 — following allegations of corruption and "moral incapacity."

He was apprehended on charges of rebellion and conspiracy.

At least seven demonstrators have died since the start of the political crisis in the South American country.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies