“How many wars have we lost because our presidents betrayed us?”

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“How many wars have we lost because our presidents betrayed us?”

Dina Boluarte faces the triple challenge of helping Peru overcome the farce of Castillo’s coup, restore the economy and become the first female head of government of a country with a serious problem of machismo

“How many wars have we lost because our presidents betrayed us? How many development situations have not been undertaken because the issue of corruption was more powerful?” With these words, Dina Boluarte Zegarra has inaugurated her position as the new head of government in Peru, replacing Pedro Castillo, who spent his first night in prison following a bizarre self-coup that led him from the government palace to a cell in Barbadillo prison this Wednesday.

Boluarte undertakes a gigantic task. It must restore the credibility of an executive that was already in the low hours before the coup d’état farce, and of a congress with an 80% unpopularity index with citizens due to its inefficiency and the fact that it is swimming in a sea of ​​bribes . The new head of the executive also needs to mitigate the crisis Peru is experiencing and, more specifically, narrow the growing gap between social classes and quench hunger among the poorest families. Inflation is skyrocketing and prices are skyrocketing. The spirit of not getting by has become material.

It is true that Castillo has stimulated employment to some extent and implemented specific interventions, such as abolishing the tax on basic foodstuffs or increasing the minimum income of families. But it has failed to implement long-term economic plans or build the agricultural industry, which is fundamental in most districts. The cost of living is rising, salaries are not. Thousands upon thousands of Peruvians declare themselves to be suffocating in their domestic economy. Castillo has failed to give them a lifeline, busily pushing through 40 changes of government in 16 months and dealing with ongoing allegations of corruption, bribery and favouritism. Another record like going from the presidential office to a cell in three hours. The humble teacher arrived at the government palace in Lima on July 28, 2021 almost on the back of a horse, cheered by the people and last night that same population insulted him as the swift procession passed in which he left the official headquarters with his family.

Boluarte must quickly make her country, and the rest of America, forget the antics of the self-coup while rising to the challenge of becoming the first female president of a country ravaged by machismo. The X-ray of the Amnesty International report on this is clear. Every day in Peru four children under the age of 15 gave birth, in 2021 146 women became victims of femicide (ten more than the previous year) and, attention to the tragic data, another 12,948 disappeared from the face of the earth. So far, no Peruvian government has recognized enforced disappearances as episodes of gender-based violence, despite the fact that many of them end in rape and murder. On an economic level, the report indicates that employment also grew more strongly among the male group (15%) than among the women (8%).

Boluarte was born on May 31, 1962 in Chalhuanca, a modest capital of Aymaraes Province, located 3,000 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains. It has 28,000 inhabitants who live on the scarce resources of agriculture, livestock and mining. Little by little they scrape in some income from nature tourism. The new president is a lawyer. He studied at the private San Martín de Porres University, founded by the Dominicans in Lima. She worked between laws for eighteen years, specializing in notarial law and court law, and from 2015 she was appointed head of one of the capital’s many registry offices.

Three years later, he attempted his first assault on politics. A leftist with no ties, he ran for mayor of Suquillo. He received just over 2% of the vote. In 2020, already within the ranks of Peru Libre, Castillo’s party tried again in the parliamentary elections. Nor has he made any great achievements. But the third time, in 2021, he won aboard the presidential candidacy of the professor and now an imprisoned ex-president.

As is tradition in Andean politics, Boluarte has been the subject of various kinds of accusations. One was money laundering during the Peru Libre election campaign. The scope of a complaint alleging potential incompatibility of charges is also being resolved these days, and last August he swept the bar of unpopularity when he launched a fiery defense against Yenifer Paredes, Pedro Castillo’s sister-in-law, sentenced to preventive detention while she is being investigated for alleged crimes such as money laundering, influence and criminal organization. In her first public appearance as president, she has pledged to “fight against corruption” and to complete her term in office in 2026. However, doubts remain. Political scientists are divided between those convinced it will hold and those predicting an imminent call for a general election.

Peruvians hardly know her. In July 2021, she was appointed Vice President and Minister of Development and Social Inclusion. A few weeks ago, on November 25, she resigned from the post of minister. Earlier, he clashed with the party and its general secretary, Vladimir Cerrón Rojas, after some of his statements in January in which he assured that “I never embraced Peru Libre’s ideology”. He explained that he presented himself in his candidacy because he believed in the program of the formation of the left in health, education and infrastructure development. The party expelled her as a member.

The remarkable popular ignorance of Boluarte is largely due to the fact that his political and institutional figure has been overshadowed by these internal conflicts, but above all by the hoarding shadow of Pedro Castillo and his no less compelling state conflicts. The scandals, firings, firings and new appointments that Peruvians woke up to practically one in two weeks were much juicier than the usual institutional rhetoric. The new president is being commemorated today because when her boss faced the previous no-confidence motion, she said that if he left, she would also leave her post. Reality shows that politics is grumpy and what was said yesterday is useless tomorrow. Although it is true that Castillo did not hit himself in the face with a netless coup on the previous occasion.

Source: La Verdad

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