Peruvian Prosecutors Seek 15 Years for Ex-President Vizcarra for Graft

Опубликовано: 21 Декабрь 2022

Peru President VizcarraPeru's former president Martín Vizcarra. (Photo: Presidencia Perú, Flickr, License)

The Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office said it requested a 15-year prison sentence for former President Martín Vizcarra for allegedly receiving bribes at the time he served as the governor of the Moquegua region in southern Peru.

The office sent the 800-page-long Vizcarra’s case to the court on Friday.

According to investigators, Vizcarra received in 2013 nearly US$300,000 from an engineering and construction company in exchange for a public contract for the expansion of an agricultural frontier in Moquegua as well as the reconstruction of a local hospital.

He served as governor between 2011 and 2014 and as president from 2018 to 2020.

When lawmakers visited the project in 2020, they found unconnected constructions, poor-quality pipes, collapsed valves and infertile fields instead of a complex irrigation system that was supposed to provide water throughout the Lomas de Ilo agricultural frontier.

At the time, Vizcarra denied any wrongdoing. “We can explain this issue in detail, but acts of corruption - I categorically deny it,” he said.

The companies that won the tenders are part of the so-called “Construction Club,” which is a group of firms that allegedly paid millions in bribes in exchange for distributing public works among themselves.

In addition to 15 years in prison, the Prosecutor’s Office requested a nine-year ban of holding a public office in addition to the 10-years ban served to him last year.

Vizcarra was disqualified as a public servant by the Peruvian Congress after his wife and his older brother were found to have been among some 100 people to be secretly vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Sinopharm vaccine that was still being only used in clinical trials.

The former president is facing more accusations. The Prosecutor’s Office also reported last Friday that it has managed to reactivate a judicial cooperation mechanism with Brazil regarding one of the biggest corruption scandals in Latin America. Known as Lava Jato, the case was suspended in November following a request from the Odebrecht construction company.