For several months now Nadine Heredia Alarcón, the wife of President Ollanta Humala, has been under investigation and there have been repeated attempts to link her to Martín Belaunde Lossio, a former colleague of hers recently extradited from Bolivia (where he had sought refuge). In the past weeks this questioning has intensified, especially after the surfacing of what are alleged to be her diaries.

These notebooks contain a series of annotations about the affairs of her political party, the Peruvian Nationalist Party (PNP) and its donors. They were given to journalists by Alvaro Gutiérrez, a PNP member. When presented on the news on 17 August, she reacted immediately by saying that the books had been tampered with, alleging that most of the financial information they contained was false and that she had not written it. Some of the information appears to link the first lady with some of the Brazilian businessmen being investigated in the corruption scandal known as ‘lava jato’ (‘car wash’).

Over the first week of September, the questioning became more intense as journalist Rosa María Palacios tweeted that Heredia had acknowledged that the handwriting was hers by stating ‘the truth is my writing’ (‘La verdad es mi letra’) (sic). To this Heredia responded saying that she had actually used the phrase in a metaphorical sense, meaning that the handwriting would show that she was telling the truth.

The questioning of Nadine Herreda and her finances is likely to intensify unless she can show quite clearly that the information is fake. This could have serious electoral consequences, as it has been widely assumed that Heredia would top the list of PNP candidates for Congress in the upcoming general elections. The PNP has, as yet, to make clear who its presidential candidate will be. Both Humala and Heredia are legally barred from standing. For a useful background to the notebook affair, see