Peru’s Public Prosecutor’s Office opens a fourth investigation against President Pedro Castillo

The Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office has announced this Friday the opening of a fourth investigation against Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, after leaving without effect the suspension established by a judge to initiate proceedings against the president for alleged crimes for the purchase of biodiesel in Petroperu.

“The Attorney General’s Office has ordered to leave without effect Disposition Number 1 of January 4, 2022, which suspended the initiation of acts of preliminary investigation to the president of the Republic, Pedro Castillo, until the culmination of his presidential term,” the Public Prosecutor’s Office detailed in a statement on Twitter.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Castillo would have intervened in the purchase of biodiesel for Petroperu in favor of the company Heaven Petroleum Operators S.A., for which he is accused of crime against public administration and influence peddling, ‘El Comercio’ has reported.

This is the fourth current investigation against President Pedro Castillo in the office of the Public Prosecutor of Peru, as detailed by the Peruvian newspaper ‘Diario Correo’.

The first two investigations deal with an alleged mafia operating in the Ministry of Transport and Communications –Case Puente Tarata– and for alleged interference in the promotion process of the Armed Forces.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Castillo would be the maximum responsible of a criminal organization active in the Ministry of Transport and Communications in complicity with the ex-head of this portfolio Juan Silva –who is currently in search and capture–.

The criminal organization also allegedly involved officials of Provías Nacional and Provías Descentralizado, of the Presidential Office, as well as businessmen and third parties, all with the purpose of favoring the Tarata III Bridge consortium and other companies in public bidding processes.

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Likewise, the Peruvian Public Prosecutor’s Office has accused the Peruvian president of leading an alleged criminal organization dedicated to the promotion of officers of the Armed Forces and the National Police who are related to the president.

According to the hypothesis of the prosecutor handling the case, Castillo’s former advisor, Bruno Pacheco, and former Minister of Defense Walter Ayala “would have operationalized and materialized the criminal project”, thanks to which, together with the president, they would have benefited economically.

The third investigation, which dates back to July 21, was opened after former Interior Minister Mariano Gonzalez — who was in office until July 20 — accused Castillo of trying to obstruct the work of the country’s intelligence services so that they would not find the whereabouts of fugitives Bruno Pacheco, Juan Silva and Fray Vasquez Castillo, the president’s nephew.

“I have no doubt of the commitment that the gentleman has with corruption and I have no doubt that this abrupt departure has to do with obstructing the administration of justice (…). I believe he is impeding the work of the intelligence agents for reasons that the citizens should know”, expressed González in an interview with Panamericana Televisión.

Following these words, the Prosecutor’s Office summoned on Wednesday to testify the former minister Gonzalez, who was removed by surprise at the beginning of the week and gave way to Willy Huerta, who is already the seventh in charge of Interior since Castillo took office nearly a year ago.

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On the other hand, the president of Peru has asked the Congress to leave aside the “useless confrontation”, and has reiterated that from the Government “they will always respect the independence of powers” in the process of election of the new board of directors.

“I call on the Congress of the Republic so that, once and for all, we leave this useless confrontation that does not do good to the country,” Castillo asserted.

“One year of management in this Government and the detractors up to this moment have not been able to find a proof because their mission is another, their profile that comes today as politicians is another. We are for the will of this country,” he said, calling on the public “not to be distracted by false news”.

Likewise, the Peruvian president assured that his government is democratic, respects the constitutional rights of the people and has arrived by the will of the people.

“I make a call to tell you that the Government is not going to interfere in the work that is coming, because we have to be respectful of the powers of the State. There will not be any interference”, he commented in allusion to the election of the next Board of Directors that the Legislative Branch will hold on July 26.

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