True to form, the congressional committee investigating the Lava Jato corruption scandal has exonerated former president Alan García from accusations of corruption during his second presidency (2006-15). The committee is dominated by members of Congress from APRA and the Fujimorista Fuerza Popular (FP).

An earlier document relating to the tenders for constructing the new Lima metro argued that García had infringed the constitution and should be subjected to investigation. This was rejected by the committee.

In the committee, Congressman Victor Andrés García Belaunde (Acción Popular) had drawn attention to the fact that these matters had been dropped from the final report, but when put to a vote members from APRA and FP overruled all objections; the committee thus freed Alan García of any responsibility.

However, García still faces an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office. Arguably this is much more significant than the congressional commission which has hitherto done nothing to conceal the fact that it has been designed to defend the Fujimoristas (and their allies in APRA) and to deflect accusations towards other targets.

Much will depend here on whether Gonzalo Chávarry can hold on as the chief public prosecutor (Fiscal de la Nación). Although he shows no signs of moving voluntarily, his eventual removal would tilt the balance within the judiciary against those whose role has been to defend the interests of those like Alan García.