President Ollanta Humala arrived in Antarctica on Monday afternoon, three days after the originally scheduled date, RPP reported.
Humala’s trip coincides with the 25th anniversary of the first Peruvian expedition to Antarctica, and is the first time a Peruvian head of state visited the Machu Picchu Base, the country’s arctic research station.
The trip was pushed back several times, due to weather conditions in the area, eventually leading to >>Humala canceling his trip to the arctic base. According to El Comercio, the president’s trip was bound to Congressional approval, and Humala was expected to return to Lima on February 11.
The president was allowed to extend the dates of his trip after Prime Minister Juan Jimenez petitioned a Congressional committee to allow Humala to return on February 13.
The president’s trip was met with strong criticism from opponents who argue that Humala should return to the country to oversee recovery efforts in Arequipa, which was > struck by torrential rains last week, leaving five dead and thousands homeless.
"[The president] should have the same energy to come here and go to Arequipa. The trip to Antarctica can wait because it is nothing urgent,” said Congressman Mauricio Mulder.
According to El Comercio, Congressman Juan Carlos Eguren, of Arequipa, argued Humala’s trip was irrelevant.
“This is not an official visit, he is not visiting another head of state, there is no agenda, nor is there a meeting with entrepreneurs. It is an inadequate decision,” he said.
President Ollanta Humala arrived in Antarctica on Monday afternoon, drawing criticism back home, from those who argue Humala should be seeing to Arequipa’s recovery efforts.