President Dina Boluarte
Peru's Congress once again protected President Dina Boluarte from impeachment. AFP

Peru's Congress once again protected President Dina Boluarte on Friday, rejecting three impeachment motions filed by opposition lawmakers accusing her of permanent moral incapacity.

Boluarte is being investigated by prosecutors for alleged corruption, illicit enrichment, abuse of power and money laundering. The Attorney General's Office has also charged her with manslaughter in connection with those killed during protests demanding her removal since she took office.

This is the fifth time that impeachment motions have failed to advance in Congress, where she does not have his own faction but has the support of conservative parties.

The 61-year-old president, who has only been in office for two years, is the country's first female president and has so far managed to break an era of political instability, marked by anticipated resignations and processes of destitution.

Pedro Castillo
Boluarte took office after former president Pedro Castillo's impeachment. Photo by: AFP/Javier Torres

When she took office on December 7, 2022, she became the sixth president Peru has had in the past four years: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), Martín Vizcarra (2018-2020), Manuel Merino (2020-2020), Francisco Sagasti (2020-2021), Pedro Castillo (2021-2022), and Dina Boluarte (since 2022).

Boluarte's predecessor in the government, Castillo, had been dismissed by Congress in a process similar to that opened to Boluarte.

One of the explanations for this scenario of political instability in Peru --with six presidents in the last six years-- can be found in the fact that the Political Constitution approved in 1993 establishes among its articles that the presidency of the Republic will be vacant in case the head of state shows a "permanent moral or physical incapacity, declared by the Congress".

The same legal instrument was also used to end the presidential mandates of Vizcarra in 2020 and Alberto Fujimori after he fled to Japan in 2000.

In other cases, the legal instrument contributed to forcing the resignation of, for example, former President Kuczynski, who governed for two years until March 23, 2018, when he resigned amidst accusations of bribery and corruption that weighed against him at the time.

For now, Boluarte, who has not spoken to the press in about a month, will not have to appear before Congress to answer the charges against her. However, the stability of his government will depend on the continued support of allied congressmen.

Boluarte was born in Chalhuanca, a town of less than 30,000 inhabitants at an altitude of almost 3,000 meters. She studied law and held a modest position in the state for many years.

In 2021, she was elected vice president on behalf of the Marxist-Leninist Peru Libre (PL) party, from which she later dissociated herself. Her name was unknown to many when she took offica after Castillo's impeachment.

Today, the president has an approval rating of just 7% and an unfavorability rating of 88%, according to an early April Datum poll cited in an Associated Press article.

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