The Peruvian Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, on Wednesday denounced the deliberate interference of left-wing Latin American governments that question the legitimacy of President Dina Boluarte.
“As is well known, some governments in the region, moved by ideology or political interests, have intervened in an unseemly manner in Peruvian affairs, dragging their neighbours along with them, calling into question the legitimacy of their government,” Vargas Llosa said during a ceremony at the Government Palace in Lima.
“We must remind these rulers that in Peru, where democracy prevails, (…) we firmly reject their interference, which violates international norms and the most elementary principles of good neighbourliness,” he added in a tacit allusion to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Colombian President Gustavo Petro.
López and Petro have become the most conspicuous conspirators against Boluarte, whose democratic legitimacy they question following the removal by Congress of the coup president, the communist Pedro Castillo, on 7 December 2022 after his failed coup d’état.
The rise to power of Boluarte, who was Castillo’s vice-president, triggered a wave of protests directed from Bolivia by radical groups sympathetic to Evo Morales, which have left some 50 people dead and 600 injured. The groups, which have been exercising extreme violence and maintain links with Colombia, Bolivia and Mexico, are demanding the resignation of the government, the closure of Congress and the advancement of elections to 2023.
“It is an injustice to maintain, as some interested groups do, that there has been a rupture of constitutional order and democracy in Peru,” the writer said. Vargas Llosa, who turns 87 on 28 March, held nothing back and included the press in his criticism, accusing it of distorting reality by “presenting Peru as a caricature of democracy and trying to damage the image of our country”.
The ceremony began with a speech by Boluarte in which he emphasised that he was being decorated with the Order of the Sun in the rank of Grand Collar, “the highest rank awarded by the Republic, as a symbol of Peru’s recognition and gratitude and as an unequivocal testimony of the admiration, pride and affection of Peruvian men and women”.
The Peruvian president had congratulated him almost a month ago, after his incorporation into the Académie Française on 9 February, which made him the first non-French-speaking author to join the institution founded in 1635.