Manhunts target Peru’s president

Henry

Six Peruvian cabinet ministers resigned on Monday amid an investigation into how President Dina Boluarte acquired several Rolex watches.

Interior Minister Victor Torres was the first to resign, days after police under his command raided and searched the president’s home and office. Five other ministers resigned hours later amid the Rolexgate scandal.

The government did not explain the resignations, but they come just days before the planned inauguration of the new prime minister, Gustavo Adrianzen, and his cabinet.

On Monday evening, Boluarte inaugurated six new ministers to replace those who resigned.

Torres said after a cabinet meeting that he was stepping down for personal reasons. However, his resignation is generally seen as a punishment for the raids that targeted the president.

Peruvian politics is very turbulent and the country has had six different presidents in the last eight years.

It was revealed in a news program in March that Boluarte owns several expensive Rolex watches and it is not clear how she obtained them. She earns about $55,000 a year.

Boluarte (61) did not disclose how she acquired the watches, other than to say the watches are the fruit of a lifetime of hard work.

She is now the target of a corruption investigation into whether she has illegally enriched herself since coming to power in December 2022 and for failing to declare the watches as part of her assets.

Boluarte is due to give a formal statement to investigators on Friday and has been instructed to bring any Rolex watches in her possession when she goes to that meeting.

No watches were found during the dramatic raids carried out Friday night into Saturday.

Boluarte came to power after then-President Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, leading to his arrest and violent protests. If she is charged in the Rolex case, a trial can only take place after her term ends in July 2026 or if she is placed in a state of impeachment, according to the constitution.