In 40 days, the president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, has shown that she has not been able to solve the political crisis or consolidate a government to do so.
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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Leer en español: Primer mes y medio de Dina Boluarte, más caótico que el de Castillo
Peru continues in a political and social crisis and the cost of human lives continues to rise. At the moment, the figure rises to more than fifty deaths in the protests that began with the dismissal and arrest of Pedro Castillo. But the main image of this serious crisis is the current president and former vice president of Castillo, Dina Boluarte. Since he came to power, he has not shown the necessary greatness that these times of uncertainty and chaos warranted. A woman who seemed never destined to rule and lead, and for whom surely no one thought she would arrive.
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Boluarte insists on staying in power, possibly because his electoral capital had never allowed him to imagine getting to where he is today. For this reason, she understands that this was her moment, but she has not shown that she was the best option to govern.
Currently, 71% of Peruvians reject his government (according to IEP and Ipsos Peru), and the way he came to power is not without legitimacy problems. Barely 19% of those surveyed support the president. Many, especially Castillo's followers, understand that they were the ones who won the presidential elections.
Boluarte may believe that just as Martín Vizcarra occupied the position left by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, she also has the right to occupy the position of president when her formula came out. But the circumstances that got rid of PPK are far from those of Pedro Castillo. An express dismissal and the current confrontational position between Boluarte and her former president mean that today the president does not have the support of those who voted for her and Castillo in the last elections.
Additionally, most of the demonstrations have been concentrated in the south of the country. In the Cuzco region. For many, the victory of Castillo, a humble teacher from the Peruvian interior (mostly indigenous), was also a way to get out of the anonymity in which they feel they live in the shadow of Lima and the coastal region (traditionally mestizo and white). When Castillo decided to try to dissolve Congress and ended up stepping out of office, many of his followers saw how Lima's elites prevent them from governing. Beyond the serious allegations of corruption or the impossibility of governing in a fragmented Congress, many saw Castillo as one more of them. A representation in a country deeply centralized in the capital.
The Misrule of Boluarte
With only more than 40 days in office, the Boluarte administration has overcome the misrule that characterized Pedro Castillo in his first weeks. In a little over a month, the president has already sworn in 2 cabinets of ministers and has had 5 resignations in her government. While Castillo, who already had serious problems governing, barely arrived with a single cabinet and a resignation.
This image of misrule is viewed with suspicion by the rest of the political scene. Neither Castillo's supporters nor his opponents want to negotiate with Boluarte. They see how she is digging her own electoral grave and any party that comes close to her today may be hurt in future elections.
So far, it seems that the president does not intend to give in, not even despite the dozens of deaths that have accompanied these demonstrations and the reports of excessive violence by the authorities to contain them. But Boluarte will have to bear the weight and responsibility of his decision not to give in to the requests to call new general elections.