Peru's President Dina Boluarte speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Lima on February 10, 2023. - Peru has been shaken by two months of protests by supporters of former president Pedro Castillo, who was impeached and arrested after attempting to dissolve parliament and rule by decree. Protesters demand that Castillo's successor, Dina Boluarte, step down and that fresh elections be held. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP) (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images) PERU-POLITICS-PROTESTS-BOULARTE

Peru’s Government Officially Classifies Transgender, Nonbinary, Intersex People as ‘Mentally-ill’, Faces Backlash

The Peruvian government has officially categorized transgender, nonbinary, and intersex individuals as “mentally ill.”

The country’s health ministry stated that this decree was necessary to ensure comprehensive coverage of mental health services within Peru’s public health system.

This decision has sparked significant backlash within the country.


Earlier, lawmakers had prohibited discussions on gender equality in school textbooks, which has negatively impacted educational efforts to combat domestic violence and femicide.

César Vásquez, the health minister, has refrained from commenting on the controversy.

However, he has defended President Dina Boluarte’s stance on the declaration. The president is currently facing investigation for possessing expensive jewellery, including a diamond-encrusted Cartier bracelet worth £40,000.

Recently, her brother, Nicanor Boluarte, was arrested for selling high-ranking government positions. In response, the president disbanded an elite police anti-corruption unit and unsuccessfully tried to prevent the publication of official statistics indicating a rise in poverty.

Percy Mayta-Tristán, a medical researcher at Lima’s Scientific University of the South, suggested that while the decree may have been well-intentioned, it demonstrates a lack of understanding regarding complex LGBT issues.

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“You can’t ignore the context that this is happening in a super-conservative society, where the LGBT community has no rights and where labelling them as mentally ill opens the door to conversion therapy,” he said.

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