Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte has strongly criticized the recent raids conducted on her home and office premises on Saturday, following overnight searches as part of a corruption investigation centered on her public display of Rolex watches. Television broadcasts depicted authorities forcibly entering Boluarte’s residence, marking a dramatic turn in a case that emerged several weeks ago, amid allegations of potential illicit enrichment during her tenure in government.

Boluarte, who has faced significant public disapproval since assuming office in December 2022, has refrained from offering a detailed account of how she acquired the watches, asserting only that they were obtained through diligent labor. In an address to the nation, she condemned the actions of law enforcement as “arbitrary, disproportionate, and abusive,” emphasizing her stance against the unfolding events while the raids unfolded at her residence, with a notable presence of government agents.

Her legal representative, Mateo Castaneda, revealed that authorities discovered watches within Boluarte’s government office, which were documented but not confiscated. While acknowledging the presence of luxury timepieces, Castaneda refrained from confirming whether they were Rolex watches, further fueling speculation surrounding the ongoing investigation.

Boluarte has announced her intention to reserve public statements until after providing a sworn testimony to prosecutors on April 5, underscoring her commitment to cooperating with legal procedures. The investigation was initiated following revelations by the news program La Encerrona, which scrutinized images of Boluarte adorned with luxury watches during public appearances while holding previous governmental positions.

The joint operation, orchestrated by the police and prosecutor’s office, unfolded prominently on local television, showcasing a significant deployment of government personnel around Boluarte’s residence in Lima’s Surquillo District. The intervention, sanctioned by the Supreme Court of Preparatory Investigation, transpired subsequent to Boluarte’s unsuccessful plea for additional time to address legal summons and provide documentation pertaining to the luxury watches in question.

Facing mounting political turmoil and dwindling approval ratings, currently hovering around 10 percent, Boluarte confronts the prospect of indictment in the ongoing investigation, which could potentially culminate in a trial post her presidential term’s conclusion in July 2026. Amidst heightened scrutiny, Boluarte’s administration faces intensified oversight from government bodies, with the comptroller announcing a comprehensive review of her asset declarations to identify any irregularities.

Boluarte, who ascended to the presidency amidst a political crisis triggered by her predecessor’s contentious actions, remains steadfast in her defense, proclaiming her entrance and imminent exit from the Government Palace with “clean hands.” As questions persist regarding her ability to afford luxury items on a public servant’s salary, Boluarte maintains that her possessions are a testament to her lifelong dedication and diligence, echoing her commitment to transparent governance amidst escalating scrutiny and political turbulence.

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