Former Bolivian President’s Intrusion In Peru Results In Ban

In its first press release of the year, Peru’s Ministry of the Interior announced that it was prohibiting eight Bolivian citizens and former leftist Bolivian president Evo Morales, currently exiled in Mexico, from entering Peruvian territory. This prohibition is a response to Morales’s continued involvement in, and strong opinions regarding, Peru’s actual political crisis, along with the Bolivian citizens’ engagement in activities that threaten Peru’s national security.

“Peru is a sovereign and democratic country, whose immigration laws establish that every foreign citizen in national territory must abide by national law, especially when it involves national security and internal order,” Peru’s Ministry of Interior stated.

Peru’s internal order is already plenty disarrayed. After being governed by four different presidents between 2016 and 2021, all of whom were accused of crimes, Peruvians were hopeful to achieve political stability by electing Pedro Castillo, a leftist, into office. However, Castillo failed to break the pattern and was similarly accused of corruption, prompting Congress to attempt, twice, to overthrow him. Both attempts failed. When Congress made a third attempt to overthrow him, Castillo decided to dissolve Congress, rule by decree, and call for the creation of a new constitution. However, neither the armed forces nor the police backed up this desperate move, and Congress finally overthrew Castillo on grounds of “permanent moral incapacity.” Police forces arrested him under charges of “rebellion” and “conspiration” when he tried to seek political asylum at the Mexican embassy.

Following the line of presidential succession, now-former vice president Dina Boluarte became Peru’s new head of state, promising that presidential elections will be held in April 2024. Nonetheless, Castillo’s sympathizers demand his liberation, immediate presidential and legislative elections, and a new constitution.

The protests’ violence has been escalating, causing increasingly many deaths in the country’s worst political crisis since its return to democracy in 1980. Actors like Evo Morales, Bolivians, and other protestors have contributed not only to the deaths of around 50 individuals thus far but also to the loss of around $100 million Peruvian Soles per day (around $34 million C.A.D.), according to Peru’s Ministry of Economics. Peru needs quick action and support from international actors who can help the two factions of the conflict come to compromise, not interference from foreign nationals who are only causing further chaos.

Having prohibited these individuals from entering national territory, Peru has claimed an inherent right every state holds dear to itself: sovereignty over its own affairs. International involvement should always be welcomed in times of crisis. However, when such involvement becomes negative, it becomes an invasion of national sovereignty. It is imperative that the international community gains consciousness of both the social and economic impact of this crisis and decides to engage positively.