Pope Francis made a forceful call to combat corruption in Peru, calling it a social “virus” a month after the Andean nation’s president pardoned a former autocratic leader who had been jailed for graft and human rights abuses.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and one of his leading political rivals appeared on Thursday before prosecutors investigating payments to politicians by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Kuczynski and ex congresswoman Keiko Fujimori are being investigated by anti-corruption prosecutors in separate probes. Both have denied wrongdoing.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski acknowledged that he worked as a financial adviser for an irrigation project owned by the Brazilian builder Odebrecht, contradicting his previous denials of having any links to the company. Odebrecht is at the center of Latin America’s biggest graft scandal and has admitted to paying about US$ 30 million in bribes to secure contracts in Peru over a decade.
A prosecutor in Peru is seeking up to 18 months in jail for former president Ollanta Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia to keep them from fleeing the country while money laundering charges are prepared against them, according to a request made public on Tuesday.