Peruvian Government Officials Use Sledgehammer to Gain Entry into Presidential Residence in High-End Watch Investigation

Televised footage shocked Peru late Friday, showing government agents from an investigative unit smashing their way into the president’s residence using a sledgehammer, acting on a judiciary-approved raid at the behest of the attorney general’s office.

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Dina Boluarte faces preliminary inquiries for having an undisclosed stash of luxury watches since her tenure began in July 2021 as vice president and Social Inclusion minister, before becoming president in December 2022.

She initially admitted to owning at least one Rolex, claiming it as a personal acquisition from “personal gains” since she was 18, and requested the media to avoid prying into her private life.

Earlier in the week, attorney general Juan Villena rebuked Boluarte’s plea for a two-week postponement of her court appearance, stressing her duty to comply with the ongoing investigation.

Peru’s political landscape, which has seen six presidents in the past five years, is no stranger to upheaval. However, Ms Boluarte’s recent contradictory remarks regarding her commitment to transparency with prosecutors have deepened the political rift, fueled by the mystery surrounding her collection of Rolex watches.

The attorney general has firmly asked Ms Boluarte to hand over the three Rolex watches for the investigation, warning against their potential disposal or damage.

Ms Boluarte, a 61-year-old attorney who rose from a modest district position to vice presidency under Pedro Castillo in July 2021, took over the presidency in December 2022 after Mr. Castillo was impeached for trying to dissolve congress and govern by decree.

The ensuing protests resulted in at least 49 fatalities.

Ms Boluarte’s administration faces criticism for its increasingly authoritarian direction, resisting calls for early elections and collaborating with congress members on legislation that poses a risk to the independence of Peru’s judiciary.

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