The charges brought against the head of state are part of the anti-government protests that took place from December 2022 until last March. The head of the Peruvian ministerial train affirmed that the president will respond to justice without making use of her right to silence. The investigations also implicated a former prime minister and two former interior ministers.
The president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, will report to the justice of her country. The Prosecutor’s Office summoned the president on May 31 to testify in the context of a preliminary investigation into the deaths of dozens of people in the anti-government protests registered between the months of December 2022 and March 2023.
Boluarte is accused of alleged genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries. The president’s personal lawyer, José Campos, was in charge of confirming the summons. He stated that they expect “with great expectation that day”, however, he criticized those who keep the process against the president open, alleging that “it is not responsible to keep the president in a legal investigation regarding this responsibility”.
There is still no confirmation whether the process will take place at the Government Palace or at the headquarters of the Public Ministry, but it is known that the investigations include the current Defense Minister, Jorge Chávez and the former Interior Ministers Víctor Rojas, César Cervantes and the former chief executive, Pedro Angulo.
Boluarte asks to reschedule the summons
Within the framework of the Prosecutor’s decision, the head of state requested the rescheduling of the statement. The reason used by the president is the realization of the national multi-hazard drill that will take place the same day that the prosecutors requested her testimony.
“I request that the procedure be rescheduled for the following day, June 1, 2023, so that said procedure is carried out uninterruptedly and the full exercise of my right to defense is guaranteed,” reads the document released by the local media ‘El Comercio’.
For his part, the Prime Minister, Alberto Otálora, affirmed that Dina Boluarte will not “make use of any right of silence.” “She is going to say what she has to say,” he asserted, referring to the reason for her summons, which he described as “an issue that is also absolutely clear to her, the ministers, and to the millions of Peruvians.” .
The precedent of the summons
After the failed suspension of Congress allegedly orchestrated by former President Pedro Castillo and considered by government entities as an attempted coup, thousands of protesters took to the streets to show their discontent over Castillo’s arrest.
The protests demanded, among other issues, the advancement of the general elections, the resignation of Dina Boluarte, the closure of Congress and the calling of a Constituent Assembly. The newly appointed president declared a state of emergency and authorized the use of the armed forces to maintain calm in the critical points of the protests.
The clashes left more than 60 dead. Even the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemned the use of force by law enforcement authorities. The IACHR also claimed to have found cases of “extrajudicial executions” during the riots.
The body, which monitors compliance with human rights in the region, stressed that the focus had to be placed on the southern region of Ayacucho, where the allegations of brutality in the clashes could be considered a “massacre.”
The Boluarte government categorically rejected these accusations and redirected the accusation to Pedro Castillo, accusing him of having ties to illegal mining and drug trafficking.