Peru’s first female president under pressure for her £400k bling

Peruvian president Dina Boluarte
Peruvian president Dina Boluarte faces an inquiry over 'illicit enrichment' - SAUL LOEB/AFP
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Peru’s first female president is coming under pressure to resign after it emerged she had amassed a collection of high-end jewellery worth an estimated £400,000 despite her yearly salary of £40,000.

Included in Dina Boluarte’s collection are a £40,000 Cartier bracelet and a £15,000 Rolex watch, both of which are encrusted in diamonds.

The revelations come after local media analysed photos of the president, 61, a former mid-level civil servant, during public appearances and on official social media accounts.

Initially, she claimed that she had bought the Rolex before becoming president and would explain herself to prosecutors, who have opened an inquiry into her for “illicit enrichment”.

However, she then failed to attend a meeting with investigators.

Police guard outside President Dina Boluarte's house
Police outside the home of President Dina Boluarte after it was raided by investigators - JUAN CARLOS CISNEROS/AFP

Prosecutors and police subsequently smashed their way into her private residence at the weekend, seizing evidence including documentation that shows the Rolex was bought just last summer.

Ms Boluarte, who was sworn in in December 2022, responded with a televised address to the nation, accusing them of acting in an “unconstitutional, arbitrary, disproportionate and abusive” way and suggesting she was the victim of sexism.

She was already deeply unpopular, with an approval rating in the single digits.

Members of the prosecutor's office leave the president's home
Members of the prosecutor's office leave the president's home - Julio Melendrez/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Many Peruvians blame her for the killing of nearly 50 anti-government demonstrators by security forces.

Their deaths have been characterised by international human rights groups as extrajudicial killings.

She has also failed to use her powers to stop congress from drafting a series of counter-reforms said to be aimed at handicapping the fight against corruption and protecting the cocaine trade, illegal mining and logging.

The Peruvian Congress boasts an approval rating of just 6 per cent with many of its members facing their own criminal inquiries.

Police leave the president's house with a box
Police leave the president's house with a box - JUAN CARLOS CISNEROS/AFP via Getty

The investigation into Ms Boluarte’s finances extends what may be Peru’s world record of prosecuting presidents for corruption, often on apparently strong evidence, from seven to eight.

Currently, two are in pretrial custody, three more are on bail.

A sixth shot himself dead in 2019 to avoid arrest.

The seventh, Alberto Fujimori, was recently pardoned from a 25-year sentence for directing death squads.

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