The President of Peru has given her endorsement for hosting the 2027 Pan American Games. PRESIDENCIA PERU

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte has officially backed Lima's bid to host the 2027 Pan American Games, offering her government's support to replace Barranquilla, which lost the hosting rights earlier this year due to breaches of contract.

In a speech on the 489th anniversary of the founding of Lima by the Spanish Empire (18 January 1535), the country's head of state expressed the government's support for the seriousness of Lima's bid to replace Barranquilla and compete against Asunción, Paraguay, and other cities that have officially presented themselves as potential hosts of the 20th Pan American Games. 

"I have communicated with the president of the organisation to express our commitment to guarantee the financing of all costs related to the sports project and to respect the statutes of Panam Sports and other agreements," stated Boluarte, who assumed office in December 2022. 

She also commented publicly: "I have sent a communication to the president of the Pan American Sports Organisation expressing the support and approval of the Peruvian government to officially nominate Lima as the host of the Pan American Games in 2027."

She also stressed that the country, with a population of almost 34 million, has everything it needs to organise such a great competition: "Peru is capable of hosting major global events; we have a first-class sports infrastructure. We have the experience and the determination of the government and the institutions to put Lima and our country back on the world stage." 

Lima has already hosted the 18th Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2019, and the current bid aims to use the infrastructure of these recently held games, in line with current sustainability and environmental standards.

These statements come at a time when Colombia's president, Gustavo Petro, is engaged in diplomatic manoeuvres, including a personal trip to Chile next week to meet with the president of Panam Sports, in an attempt to win back the Games. But Colombia's chances of success are slim. 

That would only be the case if Panama Sports reversed its decision of 3 January to revoke the hosting rights for systematic violations and prevent Barranquilla from submitting a new bid, which would be against the statutes.

The president of the Colombian Olympic Committee (COC), Ciro Solano, told the Colombian press: "Barranquilla cannot present itself as a host, it is absurd. If they take away the possibility of hosting, how can they allow you to present yourself? Statutorily it's not possible, but we're fighting with other arguments to get it back".

Time will tell whether the Colombian president's diplomatic strategy will succeed in preventing the 41 members of the Panamanian Sports Assembly from ratifying the resolution of 3 January. If it does not, Asunción, Paraguay, and Lima, Peru, will be looking to present the best possible bid, just over three and a half years before some seven thousand elite athletes from the Americas are due to arrive.