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Peru's President Dina Boluarte

REUTERS/Angela Ponce

Political drama consumes Peru, per usual

Political turmoil – seemingly a national pastime in Peru – is again rearing its ugly head. Top prosecutor Patricia Benavides is blaming President Dina Boluarte – who came to power a year ago after President Pedro Castillo was removed from office by Congress – for a number of deaths at anti-government protests.

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A police officer gets his shoes shined as he and fellow officers stand outside the prosecutor's office before the arrival of Peru's President Dina Boluarte, in Lima, Peru March 7, 2023.

REUTERS/Gerardo Marin

Hard Numbers: Peru declares crime emergency, EU cuts Somalia aid, Chinese weddings dwindle, McCarthy tests his majority, oil prices surge

160,200: Peruvian President Dina Boluarte declared a state of emergency in two districts of the capital, Lima, and one in the northern city of Talara amid a devastating wave of violent crime. Lima police collected 160,200 crime reports last year, up 33% from 2021, part of a larger spike in violence in South America.

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A protester interacts with police during a demonstration against Peru's President Dina Boluarte in January 2023.

REUTERS/Alessandro

Chaos is the only winner in Peru

If it seems like Peru’s last few governments can’t catch a break, you’re not far off. Peruvian governments collapse like you fall asleep: slowly ... and then all at once.

Last year’s chaos under President Pedro Castillo showed us that, and the new Dina Boluarte administration will likely suffer a similar fate. Under Castillo, a string of efforts to oust him on the basis of “moral incapacity” and criminal investigations into him and members of his inner circle chipped slowly away at his mandate for a year and a half, only for it to entirely crumble in a matter of hours. In one day, Castillo attempted to illegally dissolve Congress, got ousted by Congress, was arrested and transferred to preventive detention, and was succeeded by his vice president.

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