Peruvian President Dina Boluarte
Peruvian President Dina Boluarte gestures as she meets with foreign media in Lima January 24, 2023. Photo by: AFP/Cris Bouroncle

Amid diplomatic tension, Peru has decided to recall its ambassador to Colombia. Peru has accused its neighbor of downplaying the country's former President Pedro Castillo's recent attempt to grab power.

On Wednesday, the Peruvian foreign ministry said that the move was made after "repeated interference and offensive expressions" by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, reported Al Jazeera.

It further said that the leftist leader was "distorting reality by ignoring that on Dec. 7, 2022, a coup d'etat took place in Peru" perpetrated by Castillo.

Last week during the Ibero-American summit in the Dominican Republic, Petro said that Castillo was not present at the event. He noted that he "should be here, (but) is in prison ... They took him out with a coup."

During the summit, Peru's Foreign Minister Ana Cecilia Gervasi responded by saying that if Castillo wasn't there, "it is because he carried out a coup."

In a December 2022 interview, Petro also denounced the overthrow of Castillo as an undemocratic "parliamentary coup."

According to the Peruvian foreign ministry, with the latest announcement, diplomatic relations between the two nations are now formally at the level of charge d'affaires.

The statement added that Petro's "continuous interfering expressions have seriously deteriorated the historical relationship of friendship, cooperation and mutual respect" that has existed between the two South American countries.

Castillo, a leftist leader, has been in prison since Dec. 7, 2022 when he was arrested after he tried to dissolve parliament and rule by decree.

He had been making attempts to ward off a third vote in Congress to impeach him in connection with corruption allegations.

His arrest and removal from office led to mass protests in the country. More than 50 people have died and some 600 have been injured from clashes between protesters and security forces.

Demonstrators have demanded former Vice President Dina Boluarte's resignation after she became Castillo's successor.

They have also called for immediate elections, a new constitution as well as the parliament's dissolution.

According to TRT World, Boluarte first recalled Peru's ambassador to Colombia for consultations in December.

In February, she also recalled Peru's ambassador to Mexico. She alleged that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had violated the principle of non-interference in her country's internal affairs.

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