- Atahualpa Amerise @atareports
- BBC News World
A year after coming to power, President Pedro Castillo’s problems are piling up.
Three out of four Peruvians disapprove of the management of the 52-year-old former rural teacher and trade unionist at the head of the government.
Castillo faces with his wife Lilia Paredes six tax investigationsthe last one opened this Thursday, a record for a sitting president in the South American country.
Several of his close collaborators and family members have been singled out by the justice system, including his sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes.
Walls it was delivered this wednesday to the prosecution after they searched the president’s house and palace in search of him.
Who is she and what are they accusing her of?
She is 26 years old and is the younger sister of the first lady, 49.
However, the figures of the president and his wife are more similar to those of their parents, not only because of the difference in age but because he grew up with the couple since he was a child. like an adopted daughter.
And, for the prosecution, it is a key piece of the corruption and money laundering network supposedly directed by the Peruvian head of state and that he flatly denies that it exists.
Prosecutors point to the first lady as coordinator of the criminal group and three brothers-in-law of the president as figureheads, including Yenifer Paredes.
They accuse several people from the close circle of the president of having run fictitious companies.
And Yenifer Paredes would have helped the owner of one of those companies to obtain public works contracts despite lacking the financial resources and experience to carry them out, according to the prosecution.
The other collaborators of the president allegedly linked to the plot are a nephew who worked as an adviser, the former Minister of Transportation – both fugitives from justice – and a former presidential secretary.
what evidence is there
The state prosecution released a controversial video as evidence of its accusation.
The images show how the president’s sister-in-law speaks with inhabitants of a community in the Chota district, in the Cajamarca region, some 800 km north of Lima.
Although she does not hold any position in the government, Yenifer Paredes communicates to these people that she needs census them to build a work of sanitation.
The young woman appears in the video with a businessman who in September 2021 won a State tender for more than 3.8 million soles (US$978,000).
Due to this controversial connection, Paredes was already summoned a month ago in Congress, where she acknowledged having worked for the businessman and agreed to a “verbal” agreement with him, but denied having influenced his public contracts, despite the fact that he regularly visited the government palace. .
On Tuesday, the judiciary issued an order of preliminary detention for 10 days against the president’s sister-in-law and the prosecution launched a broad operation to find her.
The operation included the search of the presidential palace, something unprecedented in Peru, where the forces of order had never entered the seat of the executive power to carry out an arrest.
After more than 24 hours in an unknown whereabouts, Paredes surrendered this Wednesday to the prosecution.
Lawful accusation or plot against Castillo
Her lawyer, José Dionicio Quesnay, described as an act of “bravery and courage” the voluntary surrender to justice of the first lady’s younger sister, in statements to local radio RPP.
And the president counterattacked after knowing the delivery of his sister-in-law.
“They are not going to break me,” he declared, after lamenting that “they beat my family seriously”.
“It is part of the struggle (…) and we are going to move forward, upholding a fairer Peru,” he asserted.
A day before, he had declared that the raid on the presidential palace responded to a “obvious collusion between a part of Congress, the Attorney General’s Office and a sector of the press to destabilize the democratic order”.
Pedro Castillo also spoke of “media show” and considers the actions against him as part of a plan to remove him from power.
The prosecution, for its part, issued a statement to defend its work and ensure that it will continue to do so “courageously” and “under the observance of the principle of objectivity, the principle of legality and due process.”
The attorney general, Patricia Benavides, also denounced that there are “attacks” against her to “hinder” the investigations of the president of Peru and his relatives.
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