(ATR) An hour-long meeting with the new president of Peru marks a positive step for the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, CEO Carlos Neuhaus tells Around the Rings.
"We had a very positive meeting that lasted more than one hour," Carlos Neuhaus said about the visit with Martín Vizcarra last week. Vizcarra took over the presidency of Peru after the resignation of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski three weeks ago. Kuczynski resigned in the face of an impeachment vote over corruption charges.
Neuhaus spoke from Lima shortly before he departed to Gold Coast, Australia for the Commonwealth Games. Neuhaus is an observer at the event which ends April 15.
The march of construction toward the games was the main topic of conversation with the Peruvian president says Neuhaus.
Vizcarra is familiar with the details of the Pan American Games from his previous capacity as minister of Transport and Communications between 2016 and 2017. In that post he was the government’s point person on the PanAms.
Just a year ago Vizcarra strongly defended the construction for the games in the face of criticism from some political sectors.
At the time, Vizcarra insisted that the Pan American Games should be regardeds not as a matter of economic but of social value. He said the creation of a better sports infrastructure would promote better education in Peru.
This is the first time the Pan American Games will be held in Peru, which has recently hosted major events such as the visit of Pope Francis earlier this year and the first stage of the Dakar Rally with more than 500 competitors.
In 2017 Lima hosted the IOC Session which selected Paris as the 2024 Olympics host and Los Angeles for 2028.
In a few days Lima will also host the VIII Summit of the Americas that will include most of the heads of state from the region.
Neuhaus told ATR that he expected to return to Lima from Australia April 16.
Meanwhile, government commissions have intensified their visits to meet with staff from organizing committee COPAL.
The Multisectorial Security Committee, which identifies accessibility and security vulnerabilities in the venues and surrounding areas, toured the different sites this week.
"The security of the 41 delegations that will arrive in Peru is priority one, for which joint strategies are being developed," said a COPAL official.
On Tuesday, Leyla Chihuán, the coordinator of the Sports Group of the Congress of the Republic, led the inspection in the works of the Villa Deportiva Nacional, site of 15 Pan Am events.
"Our objective is to ensure compliance with the schedules presented by COPAL during sessions in Congress. That is why we will continue to monitor the progress of the works," said the parliamentarian.
The XVIII Pan-American Games, will include 6700 athletes in 39 sports from 41 nations and territories.
Reported by Miguel Hernandez.