LIMA: Peru has banned nine Bolivian citizens, including former President Evo Morales, from entering the country, Peru's interior ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The move comes after weeks of deadly protests in Peru against President Dina Boluarte following the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo, with some demonstrations held near the border with Bolivia.
Multiple Bolivian citizens have entered the country in recent months to carry out political activities, which goes against Peru's immigration legislation, national security and internal order, the statement said. Morales has publicly backed Castillo and said on Twitter last month that his ouster and subsequent arrest was illegal and unconstitutional.
"We are closely watching not only the attitude of Mr. Morales, but also of those who work with him in southern Peru ... They have been very active in promoting a situation of crisis," Peru Prime Minister Alberto Otarola told reporters when asked about the new ban. Morales and his representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
Last week, Peru's Defense Minister Jorge Chavez also accused foreigners of stirring up protests with a view to encouraging separatism in the country's south. Peru's protests began in early December after Castillo was removed from office and detained following his attempt to dissolve Congress.
Protesters took to the streets demanding Boluarte's resignation, the closure of Congress, a change to the constitution and Castillo's release, resulting in over 20 deaths.
Protests were paused over Christmas and New Year, but resumed last week.