Corruption and impeachment disrupt regional executives across Latin America

As the Ecuadorian constitutional court approved impeachment proceedings against President Guillermo Lasso, the Peruvian congress tabled a motion to impeach President Dina Boluarte for alleged money laundering after only four months in office.

The impeachment attempt against Lasso, based on corruption-related accusations against a family member, comes after the center-right president lost support in the left-wing-dominated national assembly and was hobbled by a failed referendum in early February. Meanwhile, another impeachment is business as usual in Peru, where a diverse opposition in a fragmented legislature wants another president gone.

Since the Odebrecht scandal in 2016 led to a wave of executives’ being ousted across the region’s largest economies, impeachment has quietly become a more common political tool. Peru’s routine use of the ‘moral incapacity’ clause has notably accelerated political fragmentation leading to five presidents in the last six years. 

And despite the costs of Peru’s political upheaval it appears that the instinct for political use of impeachment is spreading to other countries, such as Chile, where President Gabriel Boric suffers from very low approval ratings, and Colombia, where President Gustavo Petro’s radical economic overhaul is rapidly losing support in a moderate congress.

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