US Extradites Peru's Ex-President to Face Odebrecht Bribery Charges

Published: 25 April 2023

Alejandro Toledo 2015 croppedPeru's former president, Alejandro Toledo, extradited to Lima. (Photo: Kristian George/San Francisco Foghorn, Wikimedia, License)

By Vinicius Madureira

The United States has extradited Alejandro Toledo, Peru’s former president, who will now face trial in his home country for bribery related to the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Toledo served as the president of Peru from 2001 to 2006 and initiated the construction of the Peru-Brazil Southern Interoceanic Highway, which spans across the two countries.

According to Peruvian investigators, he requested a bribe of US$35 million and received $20 million, which was then laundered through multiple companies and offshore accounts.

Toledo, a resident of San Francisco, was scheduled to be arrested for extradition earlier this month but delayed the process through various legal resources.

He surrendered last Friday after a court denied an urgency motion filed by his lawyers, stating that they did not present new arguments to defend his case.

Images released by a Peruvian public broadcasting channel, TV Peru, showed Toledo packing his bags into the trunk of a vehicle and leaving his residence in California. He was accompanied by his lawyer and his wife, Eliane Karp.

The President of the Peruvian Congress, Jose Williams Zapata, stated that the trial must proceed as quickly as possible. Peru now has three former presidents in the same prison.

The Odebrecht scandal is one of the largest corruption cases documented in history. The company bribed presidents, former presidents and government officials of a dozen of countries in order to obtain benefits in public contracting.