Lima, Peru Mayor Susana Villaran on Saturday led the city's Gay Pride march, the AFP reported.

The 61-year-old Villaran, a former schoolteacher and journalist, became the first woman to be elected mayor of Lima last year and was sworn in on January 1. She is a member of the center-left Social Force Decentralization Party (La Fuerza Social) and a Roman Catholic.

“As a citizen, I joined the Gay Pride parade,” Villaran told reporters. “I did it again as a candidate, and now as the main authority in the city I join in this parade through the streets of Lima.”

When asked how she would respond to critics for marching in the parade, Villaran insisted she couldn't be dissuaded.

“I won this election cleanly, I won with my personal convictions, and my conviction is that everyone has a right to be in Lima and express themselves,” she said. “Nobody is going to dissuade me from serving the people of Lima.”

The 10th annual parade, organized by the Homosexual Movement of Lima, attracted a few hundred people and ended at a downtown city plaza, site of the city's Gay Pride festival.