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LATIN AMERICA | 27-07-2021 14:23

President Alberto Fernández heads to Peru for Pedro Castillo’s inauguration

President Alberto Fernández will fly to Lima on Tuesday ahead of Pedro Castillo's inauguration as Peru's new leader.

President Alberto Fernández will fly to Lima later this afternoon to attend the inauguration of Peru’s new president-elect Pedro Castillo.

Wednesday's event will coincide with celebrations marking the bicentennial of Peruvian independence, declared on July 28, 1821 by Argentine General José de San Martín.

Fernández is set to depart at around 5pm local time, with his flight due to touch down at Jorge Chávez International Airport at around 10pm in Lima. Among the travelling party is Foreign Minister Felipe Solá and Parlasur lawmaker Oscar Laborde.

Bolivian President Luis Alberto Arce, Ecuador’s Guillermo Lasso and King Felive Vi of Spain are also expected to be in attendance, along with ex-Bolivia leader Evo Morales.

“I was in permanent contact with brother Pedro during the campaign. He is a union leader, we have political and programmatic coincidences,” said Morales on Monday, as he crossed the border at Lake Titicaca.

Castillo was proclaimed president-elect by Peru’s electoral authorities only last Monday, more than six weeks after the run-off ballot to decide the country’s next leader. Rival right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori had challenged the vote count in run-off, alleging fraud. The left-wing unionist’s victory came with a wafer-thin margin, with the Peru Libre candidate taking 50.13 percent of the vote

More than 10,000 police officers, 10 drones and five helicopters will be deployed as a tightened security operation for the inauguration, with more than 2,000 members of the security forces dedicated to the protection of foreign dignitaries.

After his inauguration on Wednesday, Castillo will travel to Ayacucho for a symbolic ceremony at the Pampa de la Quinua, scene of the Battle of Ayacucho on December 9, 1824, a decisive military encounter that many historians credit with securing independence for Peru and the rest of South America. 

Many of the foreign dignitaries travelling to Peru for the event are expected to travel with the newly sworn-in leader to the Andean city to participate in the occasion. It is unclear if President Fernández will attend, or if Solá will represent Argentina in his stead.

 

– TIMES/NA/AFP

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