Alan Garcia corruption probe concludes

22 January 2014

The congressional investigation into alleged corruption during former president Alan García’s second term in office (2006-11) has concluded after more than two years. The committee’s chair, Sergio Tejada, said in mid-January that the latest report found ‘indications’ of illegal enrichment involving some former officials.

The committee’s previous reports on other allegations have recommended García to be constitutionally accused in relation to pardons granted to drug traffickers (narco-indultos) and the Business Track scandal. 

Last year leaked documents from the committee showed that some 5,500 prisoners were pardoned during the second García administration, among them hundreds of drug traffickers, allegedly in return for payments of up to $10,000 for each year of their sentence. García has denied that officials accepted bribes and has said the reduced sentences were given to less serious offenders. It is a presidential prerogative in Peru to offer pardons to those convicted of offences.

The Business Track affair involved illegal phone tapping in 2008-9 that revealed the corrupt awarding of oil and gas contracts, allegedly involving key members of García’s government. The scandal exposed links between leading army figures and former security officers working in private firms.

Full details of the reports have not been disclosed. They will now be debated by Congress before members decide whether to approve their findings. Although García’s APRA party has only four seats in Congress, it can rely on the support from other groups, especially the Fujimorista Fuerza Popular, the second largest group in Congress.

Investigators at IDL-Reporteros have also recently drawn attention to valuable contracts won by four companies that had paid García to speak at their conferences before he won a second term. The prosecutor said that these had not come under investigation.

García does not seem to consider the investigation fatal to his political career. In mid-January, García said publicly that he was “tempted” to run for the presidency again in 2016.

 

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