Peru’s embattled President Dina Boularte rejected a formal complaint against her filed on Monday by the attorney general, deriding it as “despicable” in brief public remarks, in the latest recriminations over deadly social unrest a year ago.
It marks Attorney General Patricia Benavides’ first charge before Congress against the president, following nearly a year-long investigation.
Earlier in the day the attorney general was reported to have fired an anti-corruption prosecutor who was investigating her.
Announcing the complaint during a televised speech, Benavides said she rejected the investigations against her that seek to “destabilize the independence of powers.”
President Dina Boluarte, who took office last December following the controversial ouster and jailing of her predecessor, described the constitutional complaint issued by Benavides as “causing astonishment”.
“We express our condemnation for such a despicable political maneuver that improperly uses the memory of deceased patriots to distract attention from a very serious complaint against the prosecutor herself,” said Boluarte, referring to corruption accusations leveled against Benavides.
The ouster of former President Pedro Castillo plunged the Andean country into weeks of angry and sometimes violent protests that claimed at least 40 lives. Hundreds more suffered injuries.
Boluarte previously served as vice president to Castillo, who had unlawfully sought to dissolve Congress ahead of a planned vote by lawmakers to remove him.
The attorney general’s office first announced in January it was launching a probe into Boluarte and members of her cabinet on charges of “genocide, qualified homicide and serious injuries.”
If Congress accepts the attorney general’s complaint, it could lead to Boluarte’s removal from office.
“The death of any Peruvian should not be allowed, as well as the abuse of power,” said Benavides, whose complaint cites six specific victims.
Several anti-corruption prosecutors within the attorney general’s office also called for the resignation of Benavides on Monday.
Meanwhile, Boluarte’s approval fell to its lowest level to date in a poll published last weekend at just 8%, while her disapproval reached 85%, according to the IEP survey.