Does Gabriel Boric Distance Himself From The Position Of The Latin American “Left” On Peru?

The Chilean president has not ruled on the political situation of his neighbor, in contrast to other leftist presidents who are unaware of the Boluarte government

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Photo: Wikimedia-Fotografoencampana

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

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Leer en español: ¿Se desmarca Gabriel Boric de la posición de la “izquierda” latinoamericana sobre Perú?

Peruvian politics moved with the earthquake that represented the dismissal of Pedro Castillo as president, the movement was so strong that aftershocks are still felt throughout Latin America. Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Nicaragua do not recognize the government of Dina Boluarte for now. In contrast, Chile, also on the left, has not ruled on the matter, President Boric has been more cautious before commenting on his neighbor to the north, challenging, in some way, the unity that the Latin American "left" seemed to have.

Is Boric "On The Right" For Not Being Aligned With Mexico Or Bolivia?

The answer is no, Gabriel Boric is not a "right-wing" politician, but that does not mean he blindly supports what is usually called the "Latin American left." The Chilean president's silence on the situation of his northern neighbor seems to some to distance himself from his allies in the region, at least as far as the ideological spectrum is concerned: the presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Bolivia. This distance might not be such, however, form is substance, and the fact that Boric has not ruled on the matter, and is even less in line with his Latin American counterparts, has drawn attention. However, Chile is a direct neighbor of Peru and Boric has undoubtedly wanted to handle the issue with greater care than, for example, Andrés Manuel López Obrador or Alberto Fernández, also knowing that the continuity of his government and the future of the left that he represents in Chile they depend entirely on their internal actions and a lot also on their actions at the regional level.

The Complicated Relationship Peru – Chile

Gabriel Boric, in addition to taking care of how he relates to the rest of the "Latin American left", due to the implications that supporting or not supporting his initiatives may have, must also take care of his relationship with the neighboring country: Peru. Their bilateral relations have historically been complicated, from diplomatic meetings to wars that have changed their borders. In 2014 the International Court in The Hague established the definitive limits between the two countries after a dispute over their maritime border in the Pacific, although the court partially agreed with Peru, the reality is that the problem is not fully resolved, the ghost of the borders continues to haunt both countries.

In economic terms, the exchange between the two countries is not significant, they are not main partners, however, Peruvian migration to Chile is considerable, and almost a quarter of a million Peruvians live in their southern neighbor. Commercial and diplomatic frictions have even occurred over products such as pisco, with a battle over trademarks, legal, denomination of origin, etc. that show the scale of Peruvian-Chilean relations. President Gabriel Boric has not transformed Chile's policy towards Peru although Castillo was a left-wing president or because of any like-mindedness, they may have. The young Chilean president follows the State policy followed by Bachelet and Piñera against Peru, so it is best not to meddle.

You can also read: The difference between the left of Gabriel Boric and that of Pedro Castillo

Is The Left In Peru A Victim Of Sabotage?

The Peruvian left denounces sabotage for what happened with former president Pedro Castillo, the discourse is that of a kind of conspiracy that facilitated the removal of the president. But, unlike other cases such as those of Venezuela or Nicaragua, in Peru, the constitutional framework has been followed, and that is the point to highlight because it is the one that has divided the left in the region. The president-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, despite his closeness to AMLO, Alberto Fernández or Nicolás Maduro, has not ruled in favor of Castillo, he regretted that he was dismissed, but he wished success to the new Boluarte government.

We cannot read Peru from the perspective of the last 10 days. Still, at least since the last 6 years, when five characters have "paraded" through the presidency: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Martín Vizcarra, Manuel Merino, Francisco Sagasti, and Pedro Castillo, the case of Dina Boluarte is still uncertain, although she has already been sworn in as president. Peru's political instability has been caused by issues of corruption and scandals that do not serve a single ideological spectrum, which is why presidents, regional governors, ministers, and all kinds of officials have "fallen" in cases such as Odebrecht, which it invalidates part of the discourse of persecution of the left that Pedro Castillo and his Latin American allies denounce.

The "Left" Vs The "Lefts"

The triumphs of the left in Colombia and Brazil this year, in addition to Chile last year, added to the governments of Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, and Honduras that are considered "leftist". These economically, socially, and politically disparate countries tend to be included in the same concept of a homogeneous left. At first glance, the Venezuela of Maduro is far from the Mexico of AMLO or the Chile of Gabriel Boric, or the Colombia of Petro from the Cuba of Díaz-Canel.

The moment in which the left finds itself in each country, as well as the national policies and the structures of the institutions in each one, makes them very different. The ease with which Maduro, Daniel Ortega, or Díaz-Canel modify the laws in their favor contrasts with the institutional locks of Mexico, Chile, or Colombia. This allows us to understand why Gabriel Boric keeps his distance from Cuba or Venezuela, or former president Pedro Castillo condemned the elections in Nicaragua last year. What happens in a "left-wing" country can be considered a "right-wing" act in another ally, and this is mainly because there is not just one left, but rather many with notable differences. The question should rather be whether their coincidences are enough to hold them together at the regional level.

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