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Many Peruvians lost respect for Dina Boluarte when she campaigned as left-wing President Pedro Castillo’s running mate, but became a business-friendly conservative when right-wing Peruvian lawmakers removed Castillo from office in 2022, elevating Vice President Boluarte to the South American country’s top office.

Now the world is gaining a glimpse of why President Boluarte might have changed her colors. Journalists in Peru reported that the president owned a collection of jewelry worth $500,000, including a Cartier bracelet worth $50,000 and a Rolex watch worth $19,000, the Washington Post reported. Her presidential salary, meanwhile, is only $4,200 a month.

Prosecutors have launched an investigation – a traditional event in Peruvian politics. Every president of the country since 1985 has come under suspicion of corruption based on plausible evidence. Boluarte denied she was “corrupt or a thief,” noted the Guardian, alleging that she was the victim of a plot. It seems undisputed that she failed to register the pricey jewelry, however, as the law requires. She also claimed that she acquired the jewelry years ago – even as one piece dated to July 2023.

Boluarte’s popularity ratings were already low. As World Politics Review explained, clashes between security forces and protesters who opposed Castillo’s ousting have resulted in scores of killings in the country. Many Peruvians blame her for the bloodshed.

The 61-year-old president, a former mid-level bureaucrat, has also failed to address corruption and crime in Peru, issues that have caused a major migration outflow to Europe and the United States.

“Unscrupulous politicians entrenched themselves in office and eroded the rule of law and democracy,” wrote Americas Quarterly. “Organized crime expanded while the formal economy suffered. And finally, once the future looked bleak enough, a steady stream of outmigration became a flood.”

The corruption has tainted the country’s Catholic Church, as an Associated Press story about a powerful bishop accused of sexual abuse and illicit financial dealings demonstrated.

Boluarte’s capacity to govern is now further eroded. Soon after the revelations surfaced, six ministers, or around a third of the cabinet, resigned, Reuters wrote. But so far, she’s refusing to go.

In the meantime, the country faces serious problems that government officials need to address. A water crisis, for example, has struck the capital of Lima. Around 1.5 million people there lack access to drinking water, Le Monde reported. Citizens in the country’s remote jungle regions suffer from mercury poisoning stemming from gold mines that used the chemical to separate precious metals from other substances, National Public Radio noted.

It’s unlikely the president is going to be able to solve these problems. Most analysts, meanwhile, are predicting she’ll leave office sooner rather than later. Just like Peru’s last three presidents since 2020.

“Peru didn’t deserve (these leaders),” wrote Peruvian newspaper Diario Correo, referring to Boluarte and Castillo, adding that she’ll likely share his fate – imprisonment.

The problem is, in the special prison for Peruvian leaders, there’s no space left.

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