Dina Boluarte: the first 100 days of government in Peru

She was the first vice president. She is a very cunning woman. Dina Boluarte has managed to stay in Pizarro’s house for one hundred days. That is already a feat. A Peruvianologist told me “that, if I throw a lot, I’ll give it a week.” He doubled the figure, after thinking about it for 30 seconds: “at most, I’ll give him two.” It was December 7, 2022. The day that President Pedro Castillo (according to the Spanish press, he is called a “luminous hat”) tried to carry out a self-coup, but failed because he had not even secretly summoned the military. He was missing the former captain Vladimiro Montesinos in the equation.

Montesinos is in prison along with former President Alberto Fujimori. Together but not mixed. He had been Don Alberto’s main adviser during the two periods that they were in government: from 1990 to 1995 and from that year to 2000. The two have accused each other of acting at their own risk. They are probably right. They are in different jails. Captain Montesinos was at the Callao naval base, under the watchful eye of the head of the base, who with one eye looked at the terrorist leader Abimael Guzmán until he died a natural death, and with the other at Montesinos until he was transferred to the common prison Ancón II, in the vicinity of Lima.

Both got mixed up in criminal affairs, but Fujimori gets the best deal. (After all, he is a former president.) He is in the Barbadillo prison, a rare police unit where Pedro Castillo has also ended up, and where Alejandro Toledo is expected in the next few days, the product of a US extradition. The worst thing that Toledo has done is not to steal a million from Soros on the grounds that he needed two to organize the march of the four destinations, but to believe that the United States government would have some kind of special favor for the favors rendered. That ended when John F. Kennedy handed over Marcos Pérez Jiménez to the Venezuelan government, despite the great favors made in the Cold War period during the two governments of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Fulgencio Batista, sensing these inconveniences, which could cost him his life, on the early morning of January 1, 1959, while he was fleeing Cuba, turned his plane to the Dominican Republic, although the first order was to head towards the United States).

You cannot continue playing with the presidency of Peru. I have not the slightest doubt that Keiko Fujimori has a parliamentary group of harassment and demolition that can destroy Dina Boluarte without paying an excessive price for it, but if she has any patriotism left, she should not do that. Peru cannot resist another “moral vacancy” without another little colonel thinking of saving the country “with the support of the people.” The “people”, of course, will lend their support at first, all tired of the anarchy that has been experienced at times, but with the suspicion confirmed twenty times, that this honeymoon will not be permanent.

The most consolidated democracies, like the French one, are going through critical moments. But there is no apparatus in them capable of carrying out military coups and replacing the political ones. They are doomed to replace force with dialogue. They are condemned to understand each other “talking”, which is much better than fighting. In two of them they have eliminated the Armed Forces: in Costa Rica and Panama. I have listened to two leading statesmen (Óscar Arias of Costa Rica, former president of his nation and Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Vice President of Panama, Ricardo Arias Calderón, after the Yankee invasion in 1989), argue passionately about the advantages of not having planes or warships, it seems to me that resorting to the cost of this equipment is enough to silence the “militarists”. If Panama is in the advance squad of Latin America, it is because it lacks military spending.

I return to the case of Dina Boluarte: she was elected as a leftist and as an indigenista because she speaks Quechua. I remembered the predicament Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre got into when he said goodbye in Quechua to a talk given in Berlin. Half a dozen Germans answered him in that language. VRHT did not know that mysterious language. He got out of the bind by blaming the Spanish priests for not having taught him that language. He said, more or less: “I carry my compatriots in my heart, not in my brain.” Dina Boluarte carries them in her heart and in her brain.

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