On April 9, Peru’s Supreme Board of Public Prosecutors (fiscales) elected Carlos Ramos Heredia, a cousin of the first lady Nadine Heredia, to a term of three years as the new National Prosecutor General (Fiscal de la Nación).  The vote passed by four votes with one against.

For opposition congressmen Javier Velásquez (APRA) and Javier Bedoya (PPC) the fact that Ramos is the cousin of Heredia was of little concern.  However, for others, such as former anticorruption prosecutor Luis Vargas Valdivia, his election was a troubling development for this reason.  The Institute of Legal Defence (IDL) criticised a lack of transparency in the selection procedure.

Beyond familial ties to the Palace, much of the critical reaction stems from Ramos’ alleged actions in a case related to the regional president of Ancash, César Álvarez, who is under investigation for alleged corruption, violence and the death of nine political opponents in recent years. The conflictive political situation in Ancash, and Alvarez’s role in it, has been at the centre of media attention in Peru over the last month.

In his previous position as Prosecutor for Internal Control, Ramos summarily disciplined four anticorruption prosecutors who had raided an alleged spy centre, where employees of the regional president of Ancash were supposed to have monitored his opponents. The anticorruption prosecutors were dismissed by Ramos despite having a judicial order to proceed with the raid on the so-called “Switchboard”.

Ramos is subject to an ongoing constitutional writ initiated by Congressman Modesto Julca (from Perú Posible) to investigate this incident.