Peru: President’s house raided in search of luxury watches

The Peruvian government expressed strong disapproval of the search conducted at President Dina Boluarte’s residence on Saturday, in search of luxury watches, denouncing it as excessive and against the constitution. Police forcibly entered Boluarte’s home in Lima’s Surquillo district early in the morning, as seen in television footage, following unanswered requests for access to search for potential evidence.

Around 20 officials from the public prosecutor’s office and police initially raided Boluarte’s residence before proceeding to the government palace later in the morning, according to Justice Minister Eduardo Arana. Boluarte herself has not commented on the incident.

The presidency stated that the palace staff fully cooperated with the requested search, asserting that it proceeded without any issues. However, Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzen criticized the raids, describing them as causing significant political disturbance with adverse effects on investments and the nation as a whole. He emphasized that the actions taken were disproportionate and unconstitutional.

Adrianzen clarified that the president remained within the government palace and would provide statements to the prosecutor’s office as required. He also stated unequivocally that neither ministers nor Boluarte had intentions to resign.

The investigation into Boluarte began two weeks prior when prosecutors initiated preliminary inquiries prompted by a local news report alleging her ownership of multiple Rolex watches. The purpose of the inquiry was to determine whether there were grounds for a formal investigation.

Boluarte, who assumed office in December 2022, admitted to owning luxury Rolex watches but claimed to have purchased them with earnings accumulated since her youth. She reaffirmed her commitment to maintaining integrity throughout her presidency.

Efforts by the prosecutor’s office to inspect the watches at Boluarte’s office earlier in the month were unsuccessful due to scheduling conflicts, with her legal representatives seeking to reschedule.

This investigation into Boluarte adds to the lengthy history of probes into Peruvian presidents and senior officials.

Peruvian presidents and high-ranking officials have faced numerous investigations in the past, highlighting the country’s ongoing struggle with corruption and accountability within its political leadership.

The raid on Boluarte’s residence and the subsequent scrutiny surrounding her ownership of luxury watches have intensified public attention on issues of transparency and integrity within Peru’s government. Critics argue that such incidents undermine public trust in the country’s democratic institutions and hinder efforts to address pressing social and economic challenges.

Despite the controversy surrounding the investigation, Boluarte has remained steadfast in her position, maintaining her innocence and asserting her commitment to upholding the rule of law. However, the outcome of the inquiry and its potential implications for her presidency remain uncertain, casting a shadow over the political landscape of Peru.

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