Will the ex-Chief Public Prosecutor be prosecuted?

12 January 2019

After weeks in the eye of the storm, Chief Public Prosecutor Pedro Gonzalo Chávarry finally resigned his post on 8 January. His position had become untenable after he tried to remove the prosecutors in charge of the Lava Jato investigation, Rafael Vela and Jose Domingo Pérez, on New Year’s eve. Given the public outcry, he was obliged to reappoint them two day later.

His situation became even more difficult when Pérez conducted a judicial search of the offices of one of Chávarry’s advisors as part of the investigation into the Callao mafia corruption case, known as the ‘white collars of the port’ with which Chávarry had been linked.

A ruse was organised to trick Pérez into gaining access to the wrong office, but instead he left marks to seal the office he needed to enter and then sought approval from a judge to access the correct one. Meanwhile other unauthorised persons were caught on camera removing documents from the embargoed office. Not only were they working for Chávarry, but there are video images that show he was there at the time.

Chávarry’s replacement is Zoraida Avalos. She has called for him to be investigated. Still, Chávarry remains a member of the board of supreme prosecutors, and he can only be officially removed at the behest of Congress. 

He is currently assigned to a post dealing with civil cases to keep him as distant as possible from the current corruption investigations. But his situation is heavily compromised, and he will soon have to face another investigation launched by Pérez over his involvement in the attempt to remove documents from the embargoed office. He has been granted a month’s leave while this investigation takes place.

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