Who is Dina Boluarte, Peru’s first female president?
By CNNE’s Rocio Munoz Ledo
Dina Boluarte took office as the new President of Peru on Wednesday, after Congress ousted former president Pedro Castillo.
In this turbulent context, Boluarte, who until a few hours ago was the country’s Vice President, took over as Castillo’s successor after being sworn in before the plenary session of Congress on Wednesday afternoon.
She is the first female president in Peru’s history, and the sixth Peruvian president in less than five years.
Boluarte’s term will extend through July 2026.
In her first speech as President, Boluarte on Wednesday called for a “political truce to install a government of national unity” and said that she would fight corruption with the support of the country’s Attorney General’s Office and Comptroller’s Office.
“My first task is to fight corruption, in all forms,” Boluarte said. “I have seen with revulsion how the press and judicial bodies have reported shameful acts of robbery against the money of all Peruvians, this cancer must be rooted out.”
Boluarte’s predecessor Castillo was removed from office and arrested on Wednesday for unconstitutionally declaring the temporary closure of Congress, according to several constitutional analysts in the country.
At least seven cabinet ministers and other senior officials resigned in protest of Castillo’s move, accusing the former president of attempting a coup.
Dina Ercilia Boluarte Zegarra, 60, graduated in Law from the San Martín de Porres Private University, where she also obtained her Master’s degree in Notarial and Registry Law, according to her resume.
She began her political career in 2007, at the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status in Surco, as an advisor to senior management and, later, as the head of the local office.
In 2018, she was a candidate for mayor of Surquillo with the Peru Libre Party. Two years later, in 2020, she ran in extraordinary parliamentary elections, but failed to win a seat.
During the 2021 general elections, Boluarte was a candidate for vice presidency for the Peru Libre party and Castillo’s running mate. Castillo won the contest in a second round of voting with 8,836,380 votes, according to the National Election Jury (JNE).
In an interview with CNN en Espanol’s Fernando del Rincón that year, Boluarte said: “We need a Congress that works for the needs of Peruvian society and that coordinates positively with the Executive so that both powers of State can work in a coordinated manner to meet the multiple needs of Peruvian society. We do not want an obstructionist Congress (…) At no time have I said that we are going to close Congress.”
On July 29, 2021, she was sworn in as Minister for Development and Social Inclusion, a position she held until November 25, 2022, when she presented her resignation after the appointment of Betssy Chávez as president of the Council of Ministers.
“Today I have made the decision not to continue in the next ministerial cabinet. After deep reflection, I have no doubt that the current polarization harms everyone, especially the ordinary citizen who seeks to get out of the political and economic crisis,” Boluarte, who did not leave the vice presidency, wrote in a tweet at the time.
However, she remained a member of cabinet as vice president. Less than two weeks later, she was sworn in as the new Peruvian leader.
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