Beatriz Merino Lucero (born November 15, 1947, Peru) was the first (and so far only) female Prime Minister of Peru, and the first female prime minister of any country in Latin America. Merino currently serves as the national ombudsman for Peru, a position also known as the defender of the people. She is the third person to hold the position (the first title holder was Jorge Santistevan and his successor, in an interim position, was Walter Albán).
Beatriz Merino Lucero became the prime minister of Peru in 2003, the highest political rank ever held by a woman in the history of Peru. Merino held office between June 23, 2003 and December 12, 2003. Before serving as prime minister, she graduated from Harvard University with a master’s degree in law, becoming the first Peruvian woman to graduate from Harvard Law School. She also obtained an LLM degree from the London School of Economics in 1974. Merino was director of the Women’s Leadership Program at the Inter-American Development Bank to support and finance projects to enhance women’s leadership in Latin America. She also worked as a lawyer at the law firm Estudio Merino and Reano, where she worked extensively in commercial, labor, corporate and environmental legislation.
Merino served Peru as a Senator from 1990 to 1992, and then served in Peru's Congress from 1995 to 2000. She was also the first Peruvian woman to serve on the Commission of Andean Jurists. At the University of Lima, she was the director of foreign cooperation and of the master’s program on tax revenues and fiscal policies.
Her short reign in office as Peru's Prime Minister was ended when she was fired by President Alejandro Toledo. She had achieved a 60% approval rating before rumors surfaced that she was a lesbian. Merino was unmarried and had purchased a home with a female colleague. In a strictly Roman Catholic nation, the accusations were enough for her dismissal; which she learned about after returning from a trip to the United States. She now leads Peru's national ombudsman program (2006-2011).
Merino is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally, for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.
- Wildman, Sarah. "Prime Minister's Peril." Advocate 907 (2004): 15. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Hugh Stephens Library, Columbia. 5 Apr. 2008. Keyword: Beatriz Merino.
- "Initial Signataries to the Global Action Plan." Win with Women Global Initiative. NDI Women's Programs. 5 Apr. 2008 <http://winwithwomen.ndi.org/viewsection.asp?sect=sigs&subsect=siglistdetail&groupby=country>.
- Prime Minister Beatriz Merino with Council of Women World Leaders
Luis Solari De La Fuente
|Prime Ministers of Peru|
2003 – 2003
| Succeeded by|