Peru’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor calls for investigation into brother of President Dina Boluarte

By January 24, 2024

Lima, Peru — Peru’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office on January 18 requested that the Public Ministry investigate Nicanor Boluarte, the brother of President Dina Boluarte, for alleged corruption and influence peddling. 

The criminal complaint was filed following the airing of TV news program Cuarto Poder, which reported that Nicanor had allegedly influenced prefect and sub-prefect appointments in the San Martín region of the Peruvian Amazon. His aim, prosecutors alleged, was to obtain signatures to register a political party for the 2026 general elections.

In Peru, prefects and sub-prefects represent the executive branch in different provinces and districts in an effort to maintain a central government presence across the country. 

According to investigators, the president’s brother was helped by local resident Griselda Herrera, who was allegedly responsible for demanding that public officials fill out registration forms for the new political party “Ciudadanos por el Perú” (CPP).

The TV program collected testimonies from sub-prefects who explained that they received threats from Nicanor and his personnel to sign the registration documents.

“That was one of our functions. Each sub-prefect had to fill out forms to be able to register the political party. Eighty forms,” said Mac Sánchez, a district sub-prefect. 

Another sub-prefect, Agustín Soria, alleged, “The condition was: ‘if you don’t fill out the forms, you lose your job.’”

Dina Boluarte defends her brother 

On January 18, President Boluarte denied the accusations against her brother.

“Stop defaming my brother, he is not participating in anything. He is not using prefects or sub-prefects of the State,” she told the local press.

Dina Boluarte. Image courtesy of ANDINA.

Boluarte also recommended seeking information from other sub-prefects and requested that the Public Ministry investigate further.

“It would be good if they also request statements from the other sub-prefects, not just the four who have been presented tendentiously. I won’t speak further on this. The Public Ministry is investigating, and it will get to the truth of the matter,” she added.

Sunday’s revelations against President Boluarte’s brother drew the ire of opposition members in Congress. 

Congresswoman Isabel Cortez has requested the congressional oversight committee hold an extraordinary session in which Nicanor responds to the accusations.

Who is Nicanor Boluarte?

In 2016, Nicanor, who is a lawyer, served as a deputy minister for former President Ollanta Humala (2011 to 2016). He has worked in various management roles within the government as well. 

He also played a key role in his sister’s 2021 electoral campaign. His sister would go on to serve as the Vice President of Peru under former President Pedro Castillo, who is currently being held in pre-trial detention on rebellion charges. 

Upon Castillo’s removal from office in December 2022, Dina Boluarte ascended to the presidency, and her brother currently does not hold any official position within her government. 

On October 18, 2023, as first reported by the Cuarto Poder, Nicanor allegedly met on his birthday with Nixon Hoyos, the mayor of Nanchoc, a district in the northern region of Cajamarca, which has around 1,400 inhabitants. 

The mayor’s presence might not have been noteworthy if it weren’t for the fact that nine days after the meeting, he received around 20 million soles (USD $5.2 million) from the Peruvian government, intended for public works projects in his city. 

On November 7, 2023, the Public Ministry initiated an investigation into Nicanor for alleged crimes of collusion and influence peddling, “following the complaint regarding the supposed favoritism in the allocation of a budget for public works in the district of Nanchoc.”