Peruvian lawmakers begin yet another effort to remove President Dina Boluarte from office

 LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian lawmakers on Thursday began yet another effort to remove President Dina Boluarte from office as authorities continue various investigations against her and her inner circle. The small legislative opposition cited “moral incapacity” as the reason for the removal request they submitted to Parliament. Boluarte has already survived four attempts to [[{“value”:”

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian lawmakers on Thursday began yet another effort to remove President Dina Boluarte from office as authorities continue various investigations against her and her inner circle.

The small legislative opposition cited “moral incapacity” as the reason for the removal request they submitted to Parliament. Boluarte has already survived four attempts to cut her term short thanks to a coalition of conservative lawmakers who have rallied behind her and have kept the measures from getting the necessary votes to move forward.

Lawmaker Susel Paredes explained on X that the opposition group presented the request due to “the serious new acts” she alleged Boluarte committed, which “are incompatible with continuing to lead the country.” Paredes’ announcement came less than a week after prosecutors opened an investigation into the Boluarte administration’s decision to disband a police unit that was looking into the activities of her inner circle, including one of her brothers.

The lawmakers’ effort is the latest step in mounting pressure on Boluarte, who became president in December 2022, when she replaced then-President Pedro Castillo. He was dismissed by Parliament and is now imprisoned while being investigated for alleged corruption and rebellion.

Boluarte is under investigation for her use of three luxury watches and fine jewelry that she did not list in a mandatory asset declaration form and that authorities estimate could be worth more than $500,000. In late March, armed police officers broke down the front door of Boluarte’s house with a battering ram and entered the property to search for the watches.

The raid marked the first time in Peru’s history that police forcibly entered the home of a sitting president. Days later, lawmakers filed the fourth request to remove Boluarte from office.

The move must earn 52 votes in order for Parliament to accept it and open a debate. To remove Boluarte, the move requires 87 votes from the 130-seat unicameral Parliament.

Boluarte, a 61-year-old lawyer, was a modest district official before entering the government of then-President Pedro Castillo on a monthly salary of $8,136 in July 2021. Boluarte later assumed the presidency with a lower salary of $4,200 per month. Shortly thereafter, she began to display the luxury watches.

Late last week, authorities arrested one of Boluarte’s brothers and her lawyer in connection with an investigation into influence peddling. The document accuses the president’s sibling, Nicanor Boluarte, of working to appoint government officials in exchange for money and an agreement to gather signatures to register a political party.

Meanwhile, authorities accuse attorney Mateo Castañeda of interfering with the investigation into Nicanor Boluarte by offering certain benefits to members of the now-disbanded police unit, which focused on tax probes.

A judge granted the prosecutors’ request to keep both men incommunicado for 10 days, meaning they won’t be able to communicate with anyone — a legal maneuver that authorities typically reserve for cases they deem highly serious.

Nicanor Boluarte said he is “innocent” as he left his home handcuffed after his arrest last week, while Castaneda in a handwritten letter shared on social media by his law firm also denied any wrongdoing.

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Follow AP’s Latin America coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

The Associated Press

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