Peru begins investigation into president for disbanding police force that ordered brother’s detention

The Attorney General’s Office of Peru announced on Friday the initiation of an investigation regarding President Dina Boluarte’s decision to disband a special police unit that was probing her brother, who was detained earlier that day.

The office stated that preliminary proceedings had been initiated against President Boluarte and Minister of the Interior Walter Ortiz for issuing Ministerial Resolution No. 0610-2024-IN, which deactivated the Special Police Support Team for the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Corruption in Power (EFICCOP). The office stated the action would constitute alleged offenses against the administration of justice, in the form of personal concealment under Article 404 of the Penal Code, and the offense against public administration, in the form of abuse of authority, sanctioned by Article 376 of the Penal Code.

The resolution, which was published on Thursday and signed by Ortiz, stated that since the function of the support police team is to assist the actions carried out by EFICCOP, there would be a “duplication of functions, efforts, and resources” in comparison to the High Complexity Investigations Division of the Peruvian National Police (DIVIAC). DIVIAC led the raid on the president’s residence earlier this year amid the Rolex case scandal in April.

The uproar over the deactivation arose because the special team supported EFFICOP in confidential investigations involving various individuals associated with public service. Among them is the “The Waykis in the Shadows” investigation against the president’s brother, Nicanor Boluarte, who was allegedly involved in a corruption network and who asserted his innocence while being transferred to the Lima Prefecture. In the same case, Boluarte’s lawyer was also arrested and allegedly sought effective collaboration after his detention. The support team also led the “Valkyrie II” operation that resulted in the arrest of seven people linked to complaints against former Attorney General Patricia Benavides.

In addition, days before Nicanor Boluarte’s detention and the special group’s deactivation, media outlets reported that Chief of DIVAC Franco Moreno was summoned by the president to request information about the investigation involving her brother.

The formalization of preliminary proceedings follows the statements of Attorney General Juan Carlos Villena Campana, who expressed dissatisfaction with the measure and demanded the reinstatement of the police team that supports EFICCOP’s work. In a speech delivered on Friday morning, he stated that”what they seek is to frustrate the investigations carried out by the Public Ministry.”