Peru's Foreign minister has resigned, the government said on Wednesday, days after he was criticized for contributing to a diplomatic spat with Venezuela. The office of President Ollanta Humala said in a statement that Rafael Roncagliolo resigned ”strictly because of health reasons”.
He will be replaced by Justice Minister Eda Rivas while Daniel Figallo, a deputy minister of human rights, has been named as Justice Minister. Ms Rivas became the first woman to head Peru’s foreign affairs.
He has done an impeccable job with the foreign relations of our country” the statement said of Roncagliolo who was appointed in 2011 but faced increasing criticism from the left and right in recent weeks over his handling of diplomatic tussles.
In early May, Roncagliolo called for tolerance zero” with Venezuela and urged the South American bloc Unasur to mediate political tensions in Caracas after a disputed election which gave victory to President Nicolas Maduro, but the result is still disputed by opposition hopeful Henrique Capriles.
Maduro complained that Roncagliolo was giving voice to opposition leaders.
You may be Peru's foreign minister, Roncagliolo, I know you well, but you cannot give your opinion on Venezuelan affairs” Maduro said in a televised speech. I hope that is not the position of President Ollanta Humala”.
Maduro revealed Humala spoke with Venezuela's ambassador to Peru and Lima then softened its tone.
Peru's ambassador to Venezuela resigned on May 8 after opposition lawmakers in Peru's Congress criticized comments he made in support of Maduro's government.
Earlier this month, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Lima acted prematurely by asking Ecuador's ambassador in Peru to leave the country after he was involved in a scuffle with women in a supermarket.