The Peruvian Ministers of the Interior, Education and Women announced their resignations on Monday April 1, in the midst of an investigation against President Dina Boluarte for alleged acts of illicit enrichment linked to Rolex watches that she is suspected of to possess.

“I am leaving because I asked her and Ms. [Boluarte] accepted,” said Interior Minister Victor Torres, leaving the presidential palace and the council of ministers. In office since November 21, 2023, he cited “family problems.”

A few hours later, the ministers of education, Miriam Ponce, and women, Nancy Tolentino, also announced their departure, on the social network X.

The police, who, alongside the prosecution, searched Ms Boluarte’s home and the presidential office on Saturday in connection with “Rolexgate”, were nominally led by Mr Torres. According to several media, part of the government asked the minister to dismiss the colonel who led these surprise searches.

The government thus records its first defections since the Rolex scandal broke out on March 15. That day, a local news site published a series of photos showing Boluarte wearing different luxury watches while in government in 2021 and 2022.

“Madame has nothing to hide.”

The opposition calls for the dismissal of the president but does not have a majority in Congress. “If Ms. [Boluarte] leaves, Peru will sink,” commented the resigning interior minister. “Madam has nothing to hide. I leave in peace, with clean hands,” added Victor Torres.

After Saturday’s searches, the prosecution ordered the president of Peru to present the watches in her possession during a summons scheduled for Friday. The president’s defense claims that the police found a few watches during the operations at the government palace, but no Rolexes.

Dina Boluarte, 61, also claimed to have “clean hands” and only owned one watch. She became president after the dismissal in early December 2022 and the arrest of left-wing head of state Pedro Castillo, of whom she was vice-president.