Today News

Government agents raid Peruvian President Boluate’s residence


Police officers guard outside the official residence of President Dina Boluate during a raid ordered by the Attorney General’s Office aimed at confiscating luxury watches, a sign of Peruvian violence, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Lima, Peru Part of a preliminary investigation into alleged illegal enrichment in Lima.

Martin Mejía/AP


hide title

Switch title

Martin Mejía/AP


Police officers guard outside the official residence of President Dina Boluate during a raid ordered by the Attorney General’s Office aimed at confiscating luxury watches, a sign of Peruvian violence, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Lima, Peru Part of a preliminary investigation into alleged illegal enrichment in Lima.

Martin Mejía/AP

LIMA, Peru — Peruvian President Dina Boluarte said in a televised address Saturday that she rejected an “unconstitutional and discriminatory” attack after police used a battering ram to break down her front door. to investigate possible illegal enrichment. Overnight search for luxury watches.

Police waited in vain for several minutes on Friday night for someone to open the door as dozens of armed officers with ballistic shields and batons looked on. Boluate said authorities did not give her family enough time to get up, dress and answer the phone. door, especially considering how late it was.

After the raid around midnight, officials headed to the presidential palace, where they were allowed to enter without resorting to force this time.

It is common for Peru to conduct searches on the residences of former presidents, but this is the first time in Peru’s history that police have forcibly entered the residence of a sitting president. There have also been attacks on the presidential palace before.

Boluarte is under preliminary investigation for allegedly acquiring an undisclosed series of luxury watches since becoming Vice-President and Minister of Social Inclusion in July 2021 and President in December 2022.

The investigation began in mid-March after a television program highlighted Boluate wearing a Rolex watch worth up to $14,000 in Peru. At least two more Rolex watches were later discovered by other shows.

Boluate, a 61-year-old lawyer, was a modest regional official before entering the government of then-President Pedro Castillo in July 2021 with a monthly salary of $8,136. Boluate later became president with a lower salary of $4,200 per month. Shortly thereafter, she began showcasing luxury watches.

Boluate did not list any Rolex watches on mandatory asset declaration documents.

In a pre-recorded televised speech on Saturday, Boluate did not clarify the origin of the watch. Boluate said her lawyer advised her not to make any statement until she went to the prosecutor’s office to “clarify the facts.”

But she has denied the corruption charges. “I’ve always said I’m an honest woman,” Boluate said.

“I ask myself a question: since when did the media start caring about what the president is wearing or not wearing? I hope and I want to believe that this is not a sexist or discriminatory issue,” added Peruvian President Boluate. The first female president.

Bolluate’s lawyer, Mateo Castañeda, told RPP radio station on Saturday morning that police even searched under the carpet at the presidential palace and found about 10 “good” watches. Castañeda did not say how many of the watches found at the presidential palace were Rolexes.

The Peruvian president posted on the social media platform

Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzén told RPP radio that “a storm is being created where none exists” and that the work of the prosecutor’s office is causing “political noise that affects investment”.

Boluate initially claimed to own at least one Rolex as a long-term holding and urged the media at a press conference in March not to delve into personal matters.

Earlier this week, Justice Minister Juan Viena criticized Bolluate’s request to postpone her court appearance for two weeks and stressed her obligation to cooperate with the investigation.

Political unrest is nothing new in Peru, which has seen six presidents in the past six years. But this “latest crisis will further damage the Peruvian president’s image and could have significant political and economic repercussions,” said Benjamin Guedan, the agency’s director. Wilson Center’s Latin America Program.

Gedan added that “corruption accusations can be inflammatory” given the economic plight of many Peruvians.

Boluate’s recent statements are seen by many as contradicting her previous pledges to tell the truth to prosecutors, exacerbating a political crisis over her unexplained possession of a Rolex watch.

The Attorney General stressed Bolluate’s obligation to immediately hand over the three Rolex watches for investigation and warned not to dispose or destroy them.

Boluate became president in December 2022, and Castillo was impeached for trying to dissolve Congress and rule by decree. The subsequent protests resulted in the deaths of at least 49 people.

Critics accuse Boluate’s government of becoming increasingly authoritarian as it shuns calls for early elections and works with members of Congress to enact laws that threaten the independence of Peru’s judicial system.

Castañeda told RPP that Boluarte will testify before the prosecutor’s office on April 5.

Juan de la Puente, a political analyst and lawyer, said that since last year’s mobilization and its deadly consequences, there had been no strong social movement capable of overthrowing Boluate.

“There’s a lot of disbelief that their presence on the streets can lead to anything positive,” De La Puente said in a phone interview, referring to potential protesters.

Still, the weekend raids underscored that Boluate’s government has accomplished its mission, de la Puente said, adding that it was not yet possible to pinpoint when she would step down.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button