During an event in the southern Ayacucho region on Saturday, a protester violently grabbed Peruvian President Dina Boluarte. The incident took place in an area where mass anti-government demonstrations resulted in 10 deaths over a year ago.
In televised footage, Boluarte, adorned in traditional clothing, was seen distributing candy to a crowd when a shouting woman approached and forcefully grabbed her. Despite the chaotic scene, Boluarte appeared unharmed and resumed her participation in the event.
The woman involved in the assault claimed that she held Boluarte responsible for the death of her husband during the December 2022 protests in Ayacucho.
Boluarte, aged 61, assumed office in that same month following the ousting and arrest of former leftist president Pedro Castillo, who had attempted to dissolve Congress and govern by decree. Boluarte’s presidency sparked violent protests across the country, demanding her resignation and calling for fresh elections.
The government’s response to the protests led to a crackdown by security forces, resulting in nearly 50 deaths, according to an estimate by Human Rights Watch. The authorities were accused of engaging in extrajudicial and arbitrary killings. Legal proceedings implicating Boluarte in the responsibility for these deaths were initiated in the aftermath of the crackdown.
Following the recent attack on Boluarte, Interior Minister Victor Torres announced that “drastic” disciplinary measures would be taken against the individuals responsible for the president’s security, and bodyguards would be dismissed. Prime Minister Alberto Otarola condemned the assault, emphasizing the seriousness of the event and its potential threat to the head of state’s safety. He underscored the detrimental impact of violence on the entire country, expressing this sentiment on a platform referred to as “X,” previously known as Twitter.
Dina Boluarte is Peru’s sixth president since March 2018 and holds the distinction of being the first woman to assume the role.