How Peruvian journalists broke the story on the president's Rolexgate scandal

  • Source: IJNet
  • June 19, 2024

“‘Hey, I have a story lead for you, but I need to know you’re really interested,’ read a WhatsApp message I received the morning of February 14. ‘It's Dina's Rolex.’ The sender was Marco Sifuentes, a Peruvian journalist and director of the La Encerrona podcast, based in Spain. Sifuentes proceeded to ask me to investigate the alleged possession of luxury watches by Peru's President Dina Boluarte, among them a Rolex.

A few months following that exchange Peru made international headlines, from The New York Times to media in South Korea. My reporting in a local Peruvian media outlet had sounded the alarm about President Boluarte wearing Rolex watches at several public events – and she was now under investigation for ‘alleged illicit enrichment’ and bribery.

The so-called ‘Rolexgate’ scandal has since led to a raid on Boluarte’s home, and significantly influenced popular culture, from protests and theme parties, to parodies on TV and social media, and political cartoons. According to recent polls, 78% of Peruvians are aware of Rolexgate.”


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