Peruvian people protest against Boluarte’s leadership

By Olivia Henry

The country of Peru has fallen into a state of political and social anarchy since its president Pedro Castillo was removed from office. He was detained on charges of rebellion after a failed coup attempt in which he announced he would dissolve congress and install a “government of exception” in its place. Such a statement was issued merely hours before he faced an impeachment vote from government officials in which he was accused of “breaching constitutional order.”

He was succeeded by his Vice President and former civil servant Dina Boluarte who became the first female head of state in the country’s history. However, her inauguration was quickly followed by a series of protests that broke out in response to Mr Castillo’s detainment led by supporters of the former president who clashed with security forces in south-eastern Peru. Six weeks of political conflict and emotional turmoil took the lives of more than fifty people and left dozens more physically wounded, including 10 individuals who were injured in clashes with police in the southern city of Arequipa when protesters reportedly tried to invade the airport.

These demonstrations rapidly escalated into vandalistic action in which the Plaza San Martín building in the capital city of Lima was rioted and burned in a swirl of teargas. 

In response to these indelible events, Boularte assured the Peruvian public that police forces had the protests under control in a statement given on a late night TV broadcast in which she promised that “the government is firm and its cabinet is more united than ever.”

Seeking truth in this statement, however, is difficult to do as Peru’s death toll has been incrementally increasing as a result of the fighting which shows no sign of abating or ceasing anytime soon.

Anger is being expressed towards both congress as a whole and Dina Boularte individually as Peruvian citizens have revealed their dissatisfaction at the appointment of a leader who they feel does not represent their community. Upon assuming power in December, Boularte had initially promised to serve until the end of Castillo’s elected term which would last until 2026. However, she has recently decided to move election dates forward to take place later this year. Despite such promises, she still faces opposition and pressure from the public to stand down as leader. Nevertheless, Boularte remains insistent that she will not resign and instead will cooperate with international representatives to reinstate peace in her country. In spite of her persistence, the current political climate of Peru is threatening to bring about an impeachment of the country’s parliamentary figurehead.

Peru continues to descend further into national mutiny whilst Boularte remains at the heart of the action, withstanding the aggression being shown towards her. However, with the political state of the country also proving consequential for its economy, her reign does not pose itself to be particularly prosperous or long lasting. As the pressure continues to build, the cracks increasingly continue to show. How long will the Peruvian government be able to endure this opposition?

Posted in Featured, Politics.