Peru: Dina Boluarte’s Message to the Nation

Dina Boluarte took to the airwaves just after midnight to address the nation following a day of widespread protests against the legislative coup which ousted Pedro Castillo on Thursday.

On Sunday, at least two people were killed in brutal police repression in Andahuaylas, Apurimac, and dozens others injured. Videos of police repression of demonstrators in the vicinity of the Congress in Lima have flooded social media. An indefinite strike began at midnight, with protesters vowing to remain mobilized to demand immediate elections, a constituent assembly, the dissolution of the Congress and the release of President Pedro Castillo.

Below is a quick transcription and translation of Boluarte’s televised message to the nation, in which she announced a State of Emergency – denounced as a clear attempt to criminalize protests – and elections in 2024. She made no mention of a constituent assembly.

When I took office, I stated that my government would seek dialogue, understanding, consensus and consensus among all and for all, without exclusions. I also reiterated a profound democratic vocation, a vocation to build governance for all bloods. I also spoke of responsibility as a value that defines the legitimacy of the exercise of power in the rule of law.

I am fully aware that I was elected, as I have already indicated, in the governmental slate that legitimately won the elections of 2021 and I remarked that this was not a blank check, but a commitment with the Peruvian people, with our institutions and with the construction of a future, of a democracy, with economic growth and social justice.

I have assumed the Presidency of the Republic in a situation of political crisis that evidently demands serious constitutional reforms to create our political system, so that the representation that each citizen grants to those elected is not a blank check either, but a creative and prosperous form of participation in the governance of Peru, which is symbolized in the vote of each citizen, of each citizen.

To govern means to represent the interests of all Peruvians, without exception, but particularly of those who have the least. The Peruvian nation will only be integrated and cohesive when we have neither the poor nor the excluded and when we all feel that the State is ours, that it is at our service, that it represents us.

My duty as President of the Republic at this difficult time is to interpret, to read and gather the aspirations, interests and concerns of all, of the great majority of Peruvians.

The collective interest of the nation, the commitment to the homeland, must come before any other consideration. The political system has been in crisis for several years. The representation of citizens’ interests has been questioned and governance has been compromised. And today we are witnessing an escalation in the levels of political confrontation that is not healthy for the country, nor for the economy, nor for the fight against poverty, nor for the daily life of families, of all our homes.

Therefore, and interpreting in the broadest manner the will of the citizens and consequently, with the responsibility that implies the exercise of government action, I have decided to take the initiative to reach an agreement with the Congress of the Republic to bring forward the general elections for the month of April 2024. In the next few days, I will submit to Congress a bill to bring forward the general elections to be agreed upon with the political forces represented in Parliament.

The approval of this Law of advance of Elections implies constitutional reforms. These should be approved by the most expeditious procedure contemplated by the Constitution.

Between now and the date of the early general elections, my Government will also promote the agreement in the Congress of the Republic of a law for the reform of the political system that will allow all Peruvians to have a more efficient, transparent and participatory democratic system of government, free of all corruption and with political parties legitimized by the participation of the citizens.

I invite all the political forces of the country, of the regions and provinces, the authorities, civil society and the Peruvian people to participate in this process, so that a wave of democratic will and national responsibility may guide and orient us to lay the legal, institutional and democratic foundations of a united, free and socially just father.

With the same patriotic sense, I announce the declaration of a state of emergency in the areas of high social conflict. I communicate that I have given instructions to peacefully recover the control of internal order without affecting the fundamental rights of the citizens. I deeply regret the death of our compatriots in Andahuaylas, Apurimac, my homeland. I express my heartfelt condolences to their families.

Jorge Basadre, foreseeing the future of Peru based on its difficult past, told us that the homeland was a problem and a possibility. For decades we have concentrated on the problem. I think that now the avenues are opening to build the lush forests of possibility. And this will only be possible if, as Basadre himself said, we realize the promise of Peruvian life. This is a task that is not incumbent on some and excludes others.

It is a historical demand that commits us all. The time has come to replace the “I” with the “we”, to think of Peru’s interests rather than just legitimate private interests. I call you to this historic task. Let us together build a Peru of all for all.

Transcribed and translated by Kawsachun News

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