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Peru: an institutionality permeated by corruption

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The preventive detention against Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) and the death of Alan García are one more link in the long chain of corruption of the Peruvian institutional system

Peru: an institutionality permeated by corruption

Two facts have once again placed Peru at the epicenter of international public opinion: the decision of the Peruvian judiciary to order 36 months of preventive detention against PPK, one year after his resignation from the presidency; and the death of former President Alan García, who shot himself right at the time he was to be captured by the authorities. The two former Peruvian presidents are involved in the Odebrecht scandal, which investigates their responsibility in this case of corruption.

Beyond what happened with PPK and García, the focus of the discussion is how the last four presidents of Peru are involved in the Odebrecht scandal, either because during their presidential terms they awarded construction contracts to the corrupt Brazilian multinational or because Odebrecht gave them money to finance their campaigns and, later on, they were awarded millionaire contracts.

Alejandro Toledo, Alan García, Ollanta Humala and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski are the four former presidents involved in the Odebrecht scandal. While Toledo remains a fugitive and is out of the country, Humala -perhaps foreseeing that he can do the same as Toledo- has impediments to leave Peru, due to the investigations that are against him; Kuczynski already complicates the situation with pretrial detention against him.

However, the repercussions of Odebrecht corruption have not only reached the four men who ruled this country in the last 15 years, but also involves Keiko Fujimori, who also received money from Odebrecht and is currently detained.

You may be interested: Peru: preventive detention for Pedro Pablo Kuczynksi

Peru, a particular case

Although the Odebrecht scandal developed in the same way in almost all Latin American countries, in Peru it has had clear peculiarities, considering the way in which the investigations and the people who have been involved have been carried out. That the last four presidents are involved in this case, with restrictions against them and being a fundamental part of the investigations, is a precedent that has not occurred in any other country.

Although in the rest of Latin America, presidents and former presidents, former officials and others with certain influence and power have been appointed; unlike what has been done in Peru, none of them is being investigated, has restrictions or is a fundamental part of the investigations that are carried out.

To bring an example, in countries like Colombia, key witnesses have died in the investigations of the Odebrecht case, amidst a lot of doubts about the pressure exerted on them and the circumstances in which those deaths have occurred.

The indignation of the citizens

Another determining factor of the Odebrecht scandal in Peru has been the reaction that the citizens have had, because thanks to their outrage it is that in this country they are investigating in depth the main people responsible for this case. It has been this pressure exerted by citizens that today allows Peru to lead the fight against impunity, regardless of who is involved and should be tried.

This being the case, the recent events once again aroused the indignation of the Peruvians, who have expressed their repudiation not only because their last five presidents have committed crimes, but also because, in general, their institutionality and political class are completely permeated by corruption:

 

By saying that corruption has permeated the institutions and the Peruvian political class, it is worth analyzing the behavior of other politicians. Despite not having responsibility in this case and rejecting everything that Odebrecht has implied for Peru, at the same time they have justified the support that they gave to some of the last presidents of Peru, so that they could reach power, even knowing the links that these previously had with that company.

This is the case of the left leader Veronika Mendoza, who on the one hand questions PPK and those who governed before him, as well as the Peruvian political class:

 

But on the other, she justifies the support she gave to the former president, arguing that it was better to support him and not Keiko Fujimori, leaving in the air the possible omission of the background between PPK and Odebrecht:

 

Everything that has happened around the Odebrecht scandal in Peru has destroyed the confidence that the Peruvians had in the institutions and in their political leaders, ending the little and weak legitimacy that still remained. With the institutions and the political class permeated by corruption, the role of the Peruvian population must remain active to fight against this scourge and achieve justice, in order to eradicate this phenomenon and make Peruvian democracy once again be fully legitimate.

You can also read: Peru: will Fujimori's dinasty come to an end?

 

LatinAmerican Post | Samuel Augusto Gallego Suárez

Translated from "Perú: una institucionalidad permeada por la corrupción"

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