Peru’s Dina Boluarte reportedly dropped duties for two weeks to get cosmetic surgery

A news investigation says the president avoided informing Congress and delegating her functions while she was away, technically leaving the presidency without a leader

dina boluarte cirugias
Peru President Dina Boluarte arriving at the Amazon Summit in Belém, Brazil, in August 2023.Eraldo Peres (AP)
Renzo Gómez Vega

Just when everything seemed to suggest that President Dina Boluarte of Peru had overcome the Rolex scandal, involving a collection of high-end watches and expensive jewelry that were not included in her asset disclosure, her pending accounts with the mirror have once again put her up against the ropes. An investigation by the weekly outlet Hildebrandt en sus Trece asserts that the president was absent from the government headquarters and did not attend any official activity for two weeks between June and July 2023 in order to undergo rhinoplasty and other surgical interventions aimed at rejuvenating her looks.

June 28, 2023, was her last public appearance after participating in a ceremony to decorate members of the National Police, and she resumed her duties on July 10, after 12 days of post-surgery rest, according to the news outlet. The woman who has governed Peru since December 2022 did not feel comfortable with her own image, and constantly questioned the photographers in her press office, to the point of blaming them for her low popularity. Her ratings in a year and a half in office have never exceeded 20% and they are now at their lowest point: 7%.

The surgeon who operated on her, according to the investigation, is Mario Cabani Ravello, known for having previously operated on more than one public figure in Peru, including the TV talk show hosts Magaly Medina and María Pía Copello. “It was definitely for an aesthetic issue and not for health reasons,” said the reporter Sonia Suyón, author of the investigative piece, who checked the story with several sources at government headquarters. “On July 5 there was a Cabinet meeting and we were informed that she was not present,” she said.

The podcast La Encerrona notes that the official accounts of the presidential office showed Boluarte participating in different events during those days. But it turns out that these events had occurred in the past. On July 1, for example, there was a post on X showing the head of state with students from a school in the Lambayeque region. But on the presidency’s Flickr account there are identical images, dated June 23. These are not the only posts with a notable time lag. “The Government Palace published older images to cover up the lack of public appearances by Dina Boluarte, and thus confuse us,” says Jonathan Castro, editor of La Encerrona.

Fredy Hinojosa, a spokesperson for the presidential office, declined to comment on the president’s cosmetic surgeries, arguing that it was a private matter. “The Constitution establishes the right to personal privacy. This includes the President of the Republic. I am not going to comment on acts that are part of the private sphere,” he said. The Cabinet chief, Gustavo Adrianzén, argued that since Boluarte’s agenda is public, there will be no problems clearing up any remaining doubts, but at the same time he did not rule out the possibility that she was absent for medical reasons. “Any one of us can become ill, unfortunately. I don’t know if there was a leave for it, but I reiterate that the president’s agenda is public and its contents will be disclosed for the dates requested.”

Congresswoman Ruth Luque, of the leftist New Peru for Good Living party, has filed a request to access the president’s agenda between June 29 and July 9, 2023, the records of the Cabinet meetings during the same period of time, and documentation showing a medical leave for personal reasons, as well as the resulting salary deduction. Luque maintains that if Boluarte’s absence were proven, it would mean she violated the Constitution by failing to communicate her absence to Congress to be replaced by the leader of the Chamber. “It is a constitutional violation because constitutional procedures have not been followed. The Presidency cannot be without a person to manage and represent it. Mrs. Boluarte must go to the plenary session to provide explanations,” she said.

Clara Elvira Ospina, head of the investigative news outlet Epicentro TV, sheds more light on why the absence of the head of state is not a private matter. “When President Biden had a colonoscopy under general anesthesia, he handed power over to Vice President Kamala Harris for an hour and 25 minutes while he was under sedation. In Peru, the president leaves for 12 days and no one finds out.”

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition

Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo

¿Quieres añadir otro usuario a tu suscripción?

Si continúas leyendo en este dispositivo, no se podrá leer en el otro.

¿Por qué estás viendo esto?


Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo y solo puedes acceder a EL PAÍS desde un dispositivo a la vez.

Si quieres compartir tu cuenta, cambia tu suscripción a la modalidad Premium, así podrás añadir otro usuario. Cada uno accederá con su propia cuenta de email, lo que os permitirá personalizar vuestra experiencia en EL PAÍS.

En el caso de no saber quién está usando tu cuenta, te recomendamos cambiar tu contraseña aquí.

Si decides continuar compartiendo tu cuenta, este mensaje se mostrará en tu dispositivo y en el de la otra persona que está usando tu cuenta de forma indefinida, afectando a tu experiencia de lectura. Puedes consultar aquí los términos y condiciones de la suscripción digital.

More information

Archived In

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS