Dina Boluarte, until now vice president of Peru, became that country’s first female president on Wednesday, following the sacking of Pedro Castillo by Congress.
Boluarte was one of the first officials to denounce the “coup” in which Castillo tried to close Parliament and avoid the motion to dismiss. A failed attempt that ended a few hours later with the arrest of the now former president and expelled from power for “permanent moral incapacity”.
When Castillo announced at noon in Peru this Wednesday that he would rule by decree, Boluarte expressed his rejection of the “rupture of the constitutional order”. with the close of Congress.
“It is a coup d’état that aggravates the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome with strict compliance with the law,” he stressed.
The current president was also Minister of Development and Social Inclusion until last week, but he left his post in late November following Castillo’s latest change of government.
Born on May 31, 1962 in Chalhuanca, in the Peruvian region of Apurímac, the first president of Peru in 200 years of republican history is a lawyer and fully entered politics in July 2021, when Castillo won the second round of presidential elections.
But the truth is that the last few weeks have not been peaceful even for the new interim president.
In the midst of a political crisis in Peru, as Congress prepared its session to discuss Castillo’s dismissal, Boluarte faced charges against him: as of this Monday, he was latent a process to suspend her from public office for continuing to preside over a private club when he was a minister.
Finally, this Monday Parliament’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Accusations (SAC) debated, voted on and rejected that complaint.
The SAC has in fact filed two appeals requesting the dismissal of the then vice president for an alleged violation of the Constitution and the prosecution in the Public Prosecutor’s Office for the crimes of incompatible negotiation, taking advantage of the position and abuse of authority.
The decision was taken with 13 votes in favor and 8 against by members of the subcommittee, after the presentation of a report prepared by pro-government lawmaker Edgar Reymundo, who recommended that the accusations leveled against the vice president, who until last week had also been minister development and social inclusion.
Boluarte had already slipped a few months ago that she was willing to assume the presidency if Castillo was removed.
“There is a mandate that the people have given us, to govern for five years and that is the only agenda we have. To work these remaining four years (of the constitutional period) for the most vulnerable, the most needy,” he said . last July 22, questioned about this possibility in a conference with the foreign press in Peru.
It was after Castillo passed two impeachment attempts and while he was under a storm of political and tax allegations, including up to five judicial investigations into allegations such as bribery, influence trading and obstruction of justice for the benefit of his inner circle of associates . .
However, Boluarte then appeared to go some way to defending Castillo, the former rural teacher who ascended to the presidency in July 2021 after a vote-by-vote fight against his right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori.
According to Boluarte, the then vice president said in July, rumors calling for a presidential removal, a snap election or a disqualification against him showed that a sector of the opposition “never” accepted Castillo’s victory in the elections .
“They have never accepted us and they don’t continue to accept us. They are looking for a thousand and one ways not only to free (remove) the president but now to disqualify the vice president,” he said.
During his tenure as vice president and minister of social development, Baluarte highlighted the efforts the government was making to fight hunger by extending social programs to a larger portion of the population.
In the middle of this year, he remarked that in 12 months of management, 20,000 people joined the Pension 65 program, which protects the elderly in situations of extreme poverty with an economic subsidy of 250 soles (64 dollars) every 2 months.
Other programs, called Juntos y Contigo, have also added respectively 51,000 new families and 3,200 new users in situations of poverty and disability.
“Last year we took about 100 million soles (25.5 million dollars) to be able to feed the hungry, we distributed tons of food in all regions of Peru, especially to feed the common pots (collective kitchens), which they already have their own budget law,” Boluarte said in July, in a scathing defense of the Castillo government, which he has just replaced as the political landscape in Peru darkens even further.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.