Peruvian President Dina Boluarte said she was questioned for five hours by the public prosecutor’s office on suspicion of illegal enrichment. She then said in a televised speech that she had to admit to a mistake: that she had accepted several watches on loan from the governor of the Ayacucho department, Wilfredo Oscorima, who was her friend.

She has since returned them, said Boluarte. However, the accusation that she wears expensive jewelry from luxury brands is false. Boluarte showed off several pieces of jewelry – a bracelet, two pairs of earrings, two necklaces and a ring. These are from different brands than what was claimed.

Boluarte’s house was searched on Good Friday. Peruvian media had reported that the 61-year-old wore expensive Rolex watches in public, which she could hardly afford on her salary. On Monday, six ministers resigned – a connection to the affair surrounding the president was obvious, but was not officially confirmed.

Boluarte: Allegations are “eyewash”

Boluarte appeared for an appointment at the public prosecutor’s office in Lima. According to the agency’s statement, she testified before Attorney General Juan Carlos Villena. In addition to the suspicion of illegal enrichment, there is also the fact that the use of certain watches and jewelry was not correctly declared.

Boluarte said she did not have to declare the watches in a statement of assets and income because they did not belong to her. She called the allegations “eyewash” that damaged the reputation of the South American country. She had previously accused the press of harassment and suggested a sexist background.

Boluarte has been interim president since December 2022. As vice president at the time, she became the first woman to become head of state and government of the Andean country after President Pedro Castillo was removed from office and arrested. Castillo had dissolved Congress and was accused of an attempted coup.