Prison, the Future of the Presidents of Peru?
The accusations of corruption that the president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, classifies as a "coup d'état", are added to the multiple investigations that the Peruvian heads of state have had .
Photos: Public domain, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
Listen to this article
Leer en español: ¿Cárcel, el futuro de los presidentes de Perú?
Last week, the agitated Peruvian politics experienced a new chapter: the Peruvian Prosecutor's Office constitutionally accused President Pedro Castillo. This accusation tries to bring to trial an official who has a special jurisdiction, which would prevent him from being taken to court by the Prosecutor's Office. This is why the figure of "constitutional accusation" was the one used by the accusing entity.
However, several legal specialists warn that this move by prosecutor Patricia Benavides, head of the Public Ministry, is invalid and could be dismissed. Likewise, this does not remove the new political and administrative crisis that the Andean country is experiencing.
Read also: Regional elections in Peru: an omen of the departure of Pedro Castillo
Peru is perhaps the nation with the largest number of former presidents jailed or investigated in recent decades. It is hard to remember who was the last Peruvian head of state free from investigations or from being found guilty. It seems that prison is an obligatory step after being Peruvian president.
This is the list and the reasons why the last presidents of Peru were investigated, accused and imprisoned:
Former president and dictator of Peru during the 90's. He was charged and found guilty of misconduct; Crimes against humanity; intentional embezzlement by appropriation and falsehood to the detriment of the State; fraudulent embezzlement, violation of the secrecy of communications and active bribery; and embezzled.
Peruvian president between 2001 and 2006. In 2017, he was accused of receiving money in the Odebrecht Case (the Brazilian mega-construction company accused of bribing governments in Latin America to obtain contracts). An arrest warrant was requested, but the politician was out of the country and was declared a fugitive from Peruvian justice. Today, he is detained in a US prison on the arrest warrant issued in Peru, but has not yet been extradited.
Peruvian President between 1985 and 1990; and 2006 and 2011. After his second presidency, he was affected by the Odebrecht scandal and receiving mega-commissions. He was sentenced to preventive detention and in State custody, he committed suicide.
President elected in 2011 by the Gana Peru movement. He fulfilled his 5-year term without any major problem. However, after his presidency, he was accused of having received 3 million dollars from the company involved in corruption Odebrecht. According to the Peruvian prosecutor's office, Humala gave 2 million to his wife Nadine Heredia and 1 million to the publicist Valdemir Carreta.
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
The leader of the "Peruanos Por el Kambio" party was elected in 2016 by a slim majority over Keiko Fujimori in the second round. During his government period, PPK had to resign from his position due to poor governance in Congress. Currently, he is being investigated for “money laundering”. Apparently, according to the prosecution, Kuczynski received bribes from Odebrecht, while he was a minister of President Toledo.
Likewise, he has had to comply with house arrest (until April 2022, when he enjoys provisional release) in the case of money laundering in the Odebrecht case.
Vizcarra comes to power as Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's vice-presidential ticket. After the president was removed by Vizcarra, he assumed the presidency as an independent politician. During his government, he had relative stability and the support of a good part of the Peruvian population. He was dismissed by Congress, when it became known that the president and his wife had been vaccinated against COVID-19 when they did not meet the requirements to be immunized as a priority. The case, which became known as "Vacunagate" affected a total of 487 Peruvian government officials, which ended up costing the president his job.
The current president faces, together with several relatives and close officials, several investigations for corruption. Castillo was elected president by the Peru Libre party. He came to power with just 18.92% in the first round, and 50.13% in the second, less than one percentage point behind Keiko Fujimori.
The current president is accused of being the head of a criminal network of influence peddling and collusion. Likewise, Patricia Benavides, prosecutor in the case, assures that the president is also obstructing justice. This scandal also affects the president's sister, Gloria Castillo; his nephews Fray Vásquez Castillo and Gian Marco Castillo; her sister-in-law Yenifer Paredes; and his former secretary Arnulfo Bruno Pacheco.