By KELIN DILLON
On the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 22, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) confirmed that the 17th Pacific Alliance Summit – which was set to be held in Mexico from Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Friday, Nov. 25 – will now be suspended indefinitely as summit participant and Peruvian President Pedro Castillo remains barred from leaving Peru by his country’s congress due to pending corruption charges.
López Obrador first floated the idea of canceling the international summit after news broke of Castillo’s travel ban, which would prevent Castillo from assuming Peru’s pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance from Mexico, on Nov. 11. Now, just ten days later, the Pacific Alliance Summit has been officially canceled – though, according to AMLO, he and other leaders of the Pacific Alliance may travel to Peru during the first week of December to conclude the planned talks on Castillo’s soil.
“I appreciate the solidarity and support of my brother, the president of Mexico, by putting the common interest of our peoples above any political irresponsibility that a certain sector caused by preventing my trip to his so generous country,” tweeted Castillo at the time.
“For Peru, assuming the pro tempore presidency of the Pacific Alliance is not only a challenge, but a commitment to promote the advancement of the peoples, who will help the country in its growth for the benefit of all,” added the Peruvian executive. “To the members of this space, we are ready to receive them.”
AMLO is still set to meet with the heads of the other two members of the Pacific Alliance this week, which is composed of Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Chilean President Gabriel Boric, to both discuss bilateral issues and the eventual rescheduling of the group’s summit.
“We are exploring the possibility of holding an act in Peru, consulting the members of the Pacific Alliance,” said López Obrador during his daily morning press conference on Nov. 22. “We are working on it. It is likely that we can go to the meeting there in December’s first week, but now that Petro and Boric are coming, we are going to deal with this issue.”
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso and Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves are likewise slated to arrive in Mexico for talks throughout the next week, though the pair’s respective nations are not official members of the Pacific Alliance at the time – something that may change, given the executives’ expressed interest in joining the Latin American group.
According to the association itself, the Pacific Alliance comprises 41 percent of all of Latin America’s GDP, 38 percent of the region’s foreign investment, and is the eighth largest exporting power worldwide. Given that the 17th Pacific Alliance Summit was slated to be the very first time all four of the alliance’s member states were under the presidency of a leftist executive, all eyes are on the Pacific Alliance to see what’s next for the conference’s rescheduling plans.