Peru's embattled President Dina Boluarte has rejected a formal complaint filed against her by the attorney general, Patricia Benavides, labeling it "despicable" in the latest political turmoil surrounding her leadership. Boluarte, who assumed office in December following her predecessor's controversial removal and imprisonment, is now entangled in a complex legal and political battle.
11/27/2023.- Photo provided today by the Presidency of Peru showing the president, Dina Boluarte (c), during a televised speech with members of her government cabinet. EFE/Presidency of Peru
The Latin American Post Staff
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Peruvian President Faces Constitutional Complaint
The constitutional complaint filed by Benavides accuses President Boluarte of various charges, including "genocide, qualified homicide, and serious injuries," relating to the violent social unrest that engulfed Peru in the wake of the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo—this tumultuous period resulted in weeks of widespread protests, leaving at least 40 people dead and hundreds more injured.
Boluarte, who previously served as vice president under Castillo, condemned the attorney general's complaint as a "despicable political maneuver" aimed at diverting attention from corruption allegations against Benavides herself. This exchange of accusations and legal actions has further intensified the political polarization and instability in the South American nation.
The backdrop of Constitutional Crisis
The backdrop to these recent developments lies in the controversial circumstances surrounding the removal of President Castillo from office. Castillo had attempted to dissolve Congress ahead of a planned vote by lawmakers to remove him, a move widely criticized as unconstitutional.
In her televised speech announcing the complaint, Attorney General Benavides vehemently rejected investigations against her, characterizing them as efforts to "destabilize the independence of powers" within Peru's volatile political landscape. Benavides, who has been at odds with the government, contends that the complaint is a response to the alleged abuses of power and the tragic loss of lives during the period of civil unrest.
Serious Charges Highlighted
The complaint presented by the attorney general highlights six specific victims, underscoring the gravity of the charges and the tragic consequences of the protests. It remains to be seen whether Congress will accept the complaint, a decision that could lead to President Boluarte's removal from office.
Meanwhile, anti-corruption prosecutors within the attorney general's office have also called for the resignation of Patricia Benavides, further complicating the political landscape.
Public sentiment regarding President Boluarte's leadership has reached a nadir, with a recent poll revealing that her approval rating has plummeted to just 8%. In comparison, her disapproval rating stands at a staggering 85%. These figures underscore Boluarte's presidency's profound challenges as she navigates a treacherous path through legal battles, political strife, and an increasingly skeptical public.
Peru finds itself at a critical juncture, with the rule of law, the integrity of its institutions, and the stability of its political system hanging in the balance. The outcome of these legal proceedings and the Peruvian people's response will determine the nation's future course, making it a crucial moment in its history.