It's been 6 months since the Peruvian Congress ordered the dismissal of Pedro Castillo and, with this, the arrival of Dina Boluarte .
Photo: TW-Dina Erciliia
The Woman Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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Leer en español: 6 meses de la llegada de Dina Boluarte ¿Qué ha cambiado?
Peru lives in a constant political crisis, in which the stability of the presidents is always in question. It has been 6 months since President Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve Congress due to impeachment attempts and the legislative blockade his administration was facing. However, the Peruvian parliament then decided to dismiss him, and this is how Dina Boluarte (Castillo's vice president) took office as the first female president of Peru . With half a year in office, has there been a change in the stability of Peru?
Deadly protests that still haunt Dina Boluarte today
The first consequence of the dismissal of Pedro Castillo was an institutional crisis and a social outbreak. Thousands of supporters of Pedro Castillo took to the streets to protest against President Dina Boluarte and demanding Castillo's freedom, his reinstatement or, if not achieved, early elections.
These demonstrations were confronted from the beginning with strong police repression. Clashes between protesters in favor of the former president and the public force left at least 60 people dead (59 civilians and one police officer) and thousands injured, according to WOLA . Even, Boluarte had to face his incidence in these events this week and testify in the case of genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries that the Peruvian prosecutor's office is advancing.
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These facts left the Boluarte government in between. Many accuse her of being an accomplice in the events, both in Castillo's dismissal and in the deaths. This caused the president to face national problems without an electoral base and without votes in Congress. If Pedro Castillo already had a legislature against it, Boluarte could not lead the country until now. The ungovernability of the first woman president of Peru is so great that she has a disapproval rate of 75%, according to an Ipsos poll in Peru 21.
The only mitigating factor is that if Boluarte's executive is in crisis, the legislature is worse. The Inca Congress has only 79% favorability before the citizens. An additional sample of the institutional crisis and the distrust of citizens with the branches of power.
Beyond not having support within the voters or within Congress, he also faced a high-tension crisis with the military and public forces. This, because the president, in an interview for the newspaper El Comercio, distanced herself from the murders during the institutional crisis. Many soldiers saw how Boluarte pointed to the military as the only ones responsible.
This not only questioned the loyalty and governability that the executive has today with police and soldiers, it also left the confidence of Peruvians in leading the country tottering.
Now, after 6 months of few results, the question that arises is about possible elections that could once again legitimize the executive and legislature. However, despite the fact that Boluarte tried to call early elections, his little or no legislative support ended in the impossibility of passing these proposals. In this way, if there are no changes, Dina Boluarte will finish her term for which Castillo was elected (2021-2026). An eternity for many protesters who even today ask to advance the elections. So much so that, according to an IEP survey, 82% of Peruvians believe that voting should be brought forward.
Now, the dilemma is that without the approval of Congress, the only way for there to be early elections is with the resignation of Boluarte. For many, the best decision, before a representative that they consider illegitimate. But for some others, it's a risky decision. First, because it could generate a new crisis before a new change of presidency. In addition, that his resignation would not guarantee that this is a solution when the population continues to be polarized, when there is no leadership of someone profiled to unite, and when Congress (highly divided) continues to be unpopular with the executive and probably the same and will try to sabotage whoever remains the winner.
Additionally, to the constant internal crisis, during the government of Dina Boluarte a diplomatic crisis was also generated. Relations with the governments of Chile, Colombia and Mexico today seem non-existent despite being their allies in the Pacific Alliance. Most of the left-wing Latin American leaders expressed their solidarity with Pedro Castillo and see Boluarte as a coup leader. The isolation that Peru suffered in the region must be resolved in a next government (which could take until 2026). To this, Congress must authorize the president to go abroad, which is often rejected and ends with a president isolated from the rest of her counterparts.
The 6 months of the first president of Peru were not what many had expected. The context of crisis and his little leadership power in the face of highly demanding adversity prevent him from going down in the country's history in the golden pages. However, given the refusal of new elections, Dina Boluarte still has a chance to straighten the path and generate the confidence that Peruvians need, with or without Congress on their side.