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Six Peru Ministers Step Down Amidst President’s Rolex Scandal

Following a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, six Peruvian cabinet ministers stepped down amidst an inquiry into President Dina Boluarte’s ownership of Rolex watches. Interior Minister Victor Torres was the first to resign, following police raids on the president’s residence and office, in what has been termed the “Rolexgate” scandal.

Shortly after Torres’ resignation, five more ministers, including those in foreign trade, women’s affairs, education, rural development, and production, also resigned. Their departures came just two days before Gustavo Adrianzen and his new cabinet were set to be sworn in before congress, although the government did not provide a specific reason for their resignations.

President Boluarte swiftly appointed six new ministers to fill the vacancies left by the resignations. Torres cited personal reasons for his resignation but speculation arose that it was linked to the recent police raids, which he claimed were planned in consultation with the president.

Peruvian politics has seen significant upheaval in recent years, with six presidents in the past eight years. Boluarte’s presidency has been marred by controversy, particularly after it was revealed in mid-March that she owns multiple expensive Rolex watches, despite her modest official salary of around $55,000 per year. The origin of these watches remains unclear, and Boluarte is under investigation for potential corruption and failure to disclose them.

As part of the investigation, Boluarte has been instructed to produce any Rolex watches she may possess when she meets with investigators on Friday. Despite dramatic raids conducted over the weekend, no evidence related to the watches was found.

Boluarte came to power in December 2022 after her predecessor, Pedro Castillo, attempted to dissolve Congress. Her tenure has been marked by protests calling for her resignation and new elections, as well as legal challenges stemming from the suppression of these protests, which resulted in multiple fatalities.

Under the Peruvian constitution, Boluarte cannot be tried for the Rolex case until after her term ends in July 2026, or unless she is impeached. While there may be attempts in Congress to remove her for “moral incapacity,” this would require support from both her allies and opponents, making it a challenging prospect.

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