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Montevideo, May 22nd 2024 - 16:49 UTC



Peru's President said to have plagiarized university thesis a decade ago

Wednesday, May 4th 2022 - 22:15 UTC
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Castillo might be involved in moral incapacity and therefore eligible for impeachment Castillo might be involved in moral incapacity and therefore eligible for impeachment

Peru's President Pedro Castillo Terrones Wednesday rejected allegations that he and his wife Liliana Paredes had plagiarized the contents of the thesis they filed to get a Masters' Degree in Educational Psychology at the César Vallejo private university a decade ago.

The Panamericana broadcasting network had aired a report saying the head of state and his wife -both rural teachers- had plagiarized 54% of their 121-page submission after coincidences with other authors were detected when their writing was processed by the Turnitin software designed to sport copyright violations.

“The thesis work was validated with educational quality standards,” Castillo said in a statement.

Panamericana TV's Panorama show said they had obtained Castillo's thesis after a transparency access request.

The President claimed the accusations were “malicious,” and politically motivated amid “a destabilizing plan.” He also stressed his academic research had been supervised by a tutor and revised by a jury.

The TV show also explained that two of the three scholars who allegedly validated Castillo's thesis do not exist on the national identity registry. The Universidad César Vallejo appointed a commission to investigate the report.

If the allegations are proved to be true, Castillo could be charged with plagiarism and generic falsehood. Cases of plagiarism are not new to Peru: Two of Castillo's ministers have already faced similar charges regarding their own theses. In 2009 a local court sentenced writer Alfredo Bryce Echenique to pay a fine for plagiarizing 16 newspaper articles by 15 different authors.

Panamericana Tv Director Rosa Cueva is expected to reply to Castillo's statements later Wednesday.

“I reject the malicious imputations [...] about the veracity of the master's thesis that I did more than 10 years ago at the Universidad César Vallejo and that based on a software they claim that I made a copy,” said the leftist president in a statement.

“The thesis document presented by the journalistic program lacks legitimacy. This accusation is politically tinged and is part of a destabilizing plan,” Castillo said in a statement.

“I have neither copied nor attributed authorship to third parties, as they irresponsibly pretend to make the population believe,” he insisted.

The 121-page thesis is titled “Gender equity and significant learning in the area of social personnel in students of the fourth cycle of the educational institution N° 10465 Puña, Tacabamba, Chota,” the area in the northern region of Cajamarca where the couple used to live.

“The theoretical framework consists of 26 pages and all 26 were copied,” according to the show.

The César Vallejo University has appointed a committee to investigate the allegations.

The 52-year-old Castillo has already survived two motions to vacate (impeachment) from right-wing leaders, a practice which has become quite common in Peru and which has led to the termination of the presidencies of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2018) and Martín Vizcarra (2020).

Opposition lawmaker Hernando Guerra García was quick to underline that “moral incapacity” constituted grounds for impeachment and Castillo seems to have fallen into it if the falsehood of this thesis is proven to be real.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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