Several Peruvian politicians, including former President Martín Vizcarra, reportedly were vaccinated irregularly.
Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti left her post after the scandal. / Photo: Peru Presidency
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Goméz Hernández
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Leer en español: Nueva crisis política en Perú daría un nuevo giro a las elecciones
Peru has been experiencing a political crisis for several years, only small periods of stability are needed so that the Peruvian reality itself reminds us of its need for change.
After having 3 presidents in less than 1 week, several protests against Congress to overthrow the president, and with a view to the presidential elections, there is a new corruption scandal that could transform the panorama in Peru again.
#Comunicado de la Fiscalía de la Nación sobre el inicio de la investigación preliminar al ex presidente Martín Vizcarra y otros funcionarios del actual y anterior gobierno que habrían recibido la vacuna contra el COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/gywSusp55u— Ministerio Público (@FiscaliaPeru) February 15, 2021
The scandal, already classified as "Vacunagate", involves 487 people who received the Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, many of them irregularly and taking advantage of their position.
In the list sent by the current president Francisco Sagasti, there are names like former president Martín Vizcarra, former first lady Maribel Díaz, among other personalities. It was suspected that Vizcarra could have received the dose as a volunteer, however, the newspaper El Comercio assures that sources confirm that the ex-president received the vaccine as a "consultant" and that the informed consent form that all volunteers must sign does not appear either.
Vizcarra had left the presidency due to a congressional impeachment, but maintained high levels of approval (close to 80% approval) for his fight against corruption while in office. Precisely, this information could strongly affect the political landscape.
According to recent polls, Vizcarra's political party, with the president as head of the congress list, represented 7% of the intention to vote in Congress, ranking third, only behind the classic Popular Action and Force. Popular (9 and 8% respectively).
BASTA DE PERSECUCIÓN POLÍTICA...!!! @MartinVizcarraC SI participó de FASE EXPERIMENTAL de la vacuna Mostramos la cartilla de control del ensayo clínico, la misma NO ha implicado el perjuicio de nadie y menos del Estado como MAL INTENCIONADAMENTE lo quieren hacer ver. pic.twitter.com/Y8aOzNE2tL— Partido Somos Perú (@SomosPeruOf) February 14, 2021
In addition, he will also be able to give the final blow to the candidate of the Somos Peru party, Daniel Salaverry, a candidate that had not managed to take off and remained, according to the polls in only 3% of voting intention with a large number of abstentionism and blank votes.
This scandal, which comes less than 2 months before the elections to find the definitive replacement for Vizcarra, will hit his party and its aspirations to achieve great force in Congress. As Eduardo Ballón, political analyst, explained to the newspaper La República, this image coup will have repercussions on the former president's party and he will not pass the electoral fence. Plus, it's a withering shot at Salaverry's aspirations.
[LO ÚLTIMO] Francisco Sagasti: 487 personas, entre ellas funcionarios, aprovecharon su posición para ser inmunizados con las vacunas de Sinopharm. Lamento que en esta lista esté la exministra Pilar Mazzetti ► https://t.co/WAgcNzGC9I pic.twitter.com/Ix0dXz3x6f— Canal N (@canalN_) February 16, 2021
Added to this political problem are the poor economic results left by 2020 with the pandemic and the institutional crisis involved. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI), the Inca country registered a fall of 11.1%, the biggest setback in 30 years. The only way out will be to get the vaccines that everyone is looking for, in the middle of elections, with an interim exit government and with a vacant Ministry of Health (which was carrying out these negotiations), since the head of the portfolio, Pilar Mazzeti, had to resign since he also appears on the list of irregularly vaccinated.