Not so blind justice: Humala and Heredia suffer eviction order

13 May 2018

Only a week after their release from jail at the insistence of the Constitutional Tribunal, Ollanta Humala and Nadine Heredia found themselves again victims of Peru’s judicial system. Various properties belonging to them were embargoed at the insistence of the very same judge who had sent them to jail.

This move has been widely criticised both in the Peruvian media and in political circles. Indeed, faced with a barrage of accusations that this was nothing more than a judicial vendetta, the authorities backtracked on the deadline they had given the former presidential couple to remove their belongings from these properties.

Whether or not Humala and Heredia are guilty of the crimes attributed to them by the public prosecutors’ office is not the issue. Up to now they have not been found guilty of the alleged crime of money laundering, although it seems that they received a US$3 million subvention from Odebrecht for their presidential campaign in 2011 at the behest of then Brazilian President Luis Lula da Silva. They spent nine months in jail without any formal accusation being lodged against them.

The widely-shared view is that while Humala and Heredia receive the wrath of the judicial authorities (the public prosecutor Germán Juárez Atoche and the judge Richard Concepción Carhuancho), others who are accused of receiving large amounts from Odebrecht in 2006 and 2011 go scot free. Their number includes Alan García, Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

As Augusto Alvarez Rodrich puts it in an opinion piece in La República, no judicial system can work properly if the standards set are not equal for all. This is a basic precept which, when seemingly violated, simply strenthens Peruvians’ already jaundiced view as to how their justice system works. He points to the politicised nature of the judiciary. “It is highly unlikely that a prosecutor and judge would issue a sentence that is such an absurdity (mamarracho) if it did not have support from one particular political sector”.

While Humala and his family find themselves out on the street (or rather having to move in with Humala’s parents), other former presidents and leading politicians whose involvement in the Odebrecht scandal is supposedly under investigation sleep easily in their beds at night.

 

All articles

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member