LIMA - Peru announced Monday it was barring entry to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his cabinet, increasing pressure on the socialist leader days ahead of his second-term inauguration.
The move announced by Peru's Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio followed a decision Friday by 12 Latin American countries and Canada not to grant recognition to Maduro's hardline government following his controversial re-election in May.
Popolizio told Peru's RPP radio that Lima's immigration authority would be given "a list of all the members linked to the leadership of the Maduro regime, including family members, so that they cannot enter the country."
He said the measure would take effect immediately.
Popolizio said the ban would also include bank transfers from individuals named on the list.
The 14-member Lima Group met in the Peruvian capital Friday to discuss ways to step up pressure on Maduro's regime.
The Group, which includes Canada, called on Maduro to temporarily transfer power to the opposition-controlled National Assembly until free elections can be held.
However, Mexico — under the new leftist government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador — refused to sign the statement.
Lopez Obrador defended the move on Monday, saying his administration was simply following a policy of "non-intervention."
"It's not about ideological sympathies," he said.
Maduro was re-elected on May 20 in a ballot boycotted by the main opposition parties and widely condemned by the international community, including the United States which called it a "sham."