Sunday, January 29, 2023

Peru: Castillo joins a group of ex-leaders in trouble with the law

LIMA ( Associated Press) – Detained former President Pedro Castillo, ousted after dissolving parliament, has joined a group of ex-presidents troubled by the law that has ruled Peru for decades, some of whom have ended up in prison. Have become.

Castillo remained virtually silent during a hearing on Thursday in which the prosecutor’s office requested his arrest for seven days while it investigates him for the alleged crime of rebellion. The former president was held in a large police base, not far from the center of Lima, inside which is a single prison for presidents, where another former president has been serving a sentence since 2007: Alberto Fujimori.

Castillo’s scene with his two lawyers was in stark contrast to his promise to end corruption if he comes to power in 2021, a crime for which most of Peru’s former presidents are prosecuted.

After being questioned for the first time by the prosecutor’s office on December 28 last year in a case of alleged corruption, Castillo assured on his social networks: “We show our face, we do not flee the country, let alone take refuge Embassy. We have a clear conscience.”

This was an apparent reference to other former presidents such as Fujimori (1990–2000), who had fled Peru before being convicted of corruption and murder, and Alan García (1985–1990 and 2006–2011) who had fled the Uruguayan embassy months earlier. I took refuge in Committed suicide in 2019 when police were preparing to arrest him in the framework of an investigation into alleged bribes received from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

But on Thursday the same Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed that Castillo asked to be allowed to hold his office at the Mexican embassy, ​​​​located in the richest neighborhood of Lima. can’t. Minutes after he left Rashtrapati Bhavan, the police stopped him on a road and took him to the police station.

Castillo, a 53-year-old rural teacher with no prior political experience, was the first Peruvian president to be subjected to a preliminary investigation by the prosecutor’s office while in office for alleged corruption in several cases. Now he has added a new fiscal probe to the rebellion after seeking to shut down parliament and set up an emergency government in addition to trying to reorganize the judiciary, the prosecutor’s office and the National Justice Board.

Other former presidents are also in trouble. Alejandro Toledo, an economist who ruled between 2001 and 2006 and promised to end the theft of public funds, awaits extradition from the United States while he is investigated for alleged corruption involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht Its being done.

Former president Ollanta Humala, a former army officer who ruled between 2011 and 2016 and came to power as a critic of corruption, faces a trial in which the prosecutor’s office has requested 20 years in prison along with his wife, Nadine Heredia. Has done, for which he asked 26 years.

The couple is accused of money laundering. Prosecutors claim that Humala and Heredia received several million dollars in illegal contributions to the 2006 and 2011 presidential campaigns by the government of then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Odebrecht.

Another who was under house arrest was former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016–2018), a former Wall Street banker who resigned before parliament. The prosecutor’s office is investigating him for an alleged crime of money laundering in his relationship with Odebrecht and the justice system has barred him from leaving the country.

In 2018, the fate of Peru’s former presidents attracted the attention of Pope Francis during his visit to the country. In a meeting with bishops broadcast on public television, the pontiff assured that Latin America is suffering from “great decline and corruption” and wondered “what happens to Peru that every president is jailed?”

Nation World News Desk
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