Six ministers resign in Peru amid probe of president’s Rolex watches

LIMA  -  Six Peruvian cabinet ministers resigned Monday in a reshuffle that came amid a probe of how Presi­dent Dina Boluarte obtained Rolex watches she has been seen wearing. With Peru feasting on a scandal dubbed Rolexgate, Interior Minister Victor Torres was the first to step down, two days after police under his command raided and searched the home and office of the president.

Five other ministers resigned hours later. They held the posts of women’s issues, education, rural development, production, and foreign trade.

The government did not explain the resignations but they came two days before the new prime min­ister, Gustavo Adrianzen, and his cabinet were to go before congress to be sworn in, in a vote planned a month ago. On Monday night Boluarte swore in six new ministers to replace the ones who left. Torres said after a cabinet meeting that he was stepping down for personal reasons. But his departure was widely seen as punishment for the weekend raids targeting the president. He has also taken a lot of heat in congress over a sharp increase in street crime. Torres said he coordinated his departure with Boluarte. “I am leaving because I asked the lady and she accepted,” Torres told reporters.

Peruvian politics is a turbulent world -- the country has had six different presidents in the last eight years. The latest drama erupted in mid-March when a news program revealed that Bolu­arte, who has a rock bottom approval rating, owns several expensive Rolex timepieces and it is not clear how she acquired them. She makes about $55,000 a year. Boluarte, 61, has not cleared things up other than to say the watches are the fruit of a life of hard work.

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