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Peru formalizes investigation against former President Pedro Castillo for corruption

Published on February 27, 2023

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The preparatory investigation is the step prior to an accusation by the Prosecutor’s Office against Castillo. 

Last Tuesday the Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office, the preparatory investigation against former President Pedro Castillo as the alleged perpetrator of various corruption crimes during his government. This comes after Congress approved last Friday, the final report of a constitutional complaint against the ex-president, a necessary previous step.

“The National Prosecutor’s Office formalized the preparatory investigation against the former President of the Republic Pedro Castillo as the alleged perpetrator of the crimes of aggravated criminal organization and aggravated influence peddling; and alleged accomplice of the crime of simple collusion,” the Public Ministry announced on Twitter.

This preparatory investigation is the step prior to an accusation by the Prosecutor’s Office against Castillo, since the former president no longer has the immunity he had when dealing with a case during his term as president.

In addition, the Public Ministry confirmed on Tuesday, a preparatory investigation into the former Minister of Transport and Communications, Juan Silva Villegas, as the alleged perpetrator of the crime of criminal organization and simple collusion, and against the former Minister of Housing, Construction and Sanitation, Geiner Alvarado, as alleged perpetrator of the crime of criminal organization.

Final complaint report

On Friday February 17th, the Peruvian Congress approved the final report of a constitutional complaint that recommended that the Prosecutor’s Office indict former President Castillo for allegedly leading a criminal organization during his government to obtain money in exchange for fraudulent public works tenders.

With 59 votes in favor, 23 against and 3 abstentions, the chamber gave the green light to the final report of the complaint filed by the National Prosecutor’s Office (general) against the former president, who is serving 18 months in preventive detention after his failed self- coup.

The document recommends accusing Castillo for the alleged commission of crimes against public peace, in the form of criminal organization aggravated by his alleged status as leader, and against the public administration, in the form of aggravated influence peddling, as well as alleged accomplice of the crime against the public administration in the form of collusion.

Corruption cases

The file responds to alleged irregularities found in the works of the Tarata II Bridge, in the northern department of San Martín, and in other alleged cases of corruption related to the public company Petroperú and the Ministry of Housing.

In two other votes, the plenary session of Parliament also approved to accuse the former Ministers of Transport and Communications and of Housing, Civil Construction and Sanitation, Juan Silva and Geiner Alvarado, respectively, for the alleged commission of the crime against public tranquility in the form of criminal organization.

The Permanent Commission of Congress approved this report on February 10th, after the constitutional complaint filed last November by the Prosecutor of the Nation (general), Patricia Benavides, against the then head of state and his former ministers.

During the parliamentary debate, which lasted for about four hours, dozens of the 130 congressmen who make up the Peruvian chamber took the floor.

Castillo claims innocence

The former president denies all charges made against him. Castillo also requested to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that he be set free and reinstated as president, his former lawyer and minister Walter Ayala, announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

Castillo had previously requested that the IACHR intervene in December, saying his detention was a violation of his rights.

The ouster of Castillo, a former teacher and son of rural farmers, sparked a wave of violent protests that have left some 60 dead, mainly in Peru’s poorer south.

Protesters have called for the resignation of Castillo’s successor President Dina Boluarte, early elections, the shuttering of Congress and a new constitution.


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