Recently we examined the charges made against César Acuña of plagiarising his academic work. On this he has refused to accept any wrong-doing and says he remains firm in his intention to run. There has so far been no traction on the suggestion that he should be ruled out of the presidential contest for falsifying CV information he gave to the authorities.
This week’s accusation against him is that he reprinted a book published in 1999 by Otoniel Alvarez, claiming that he was the sole author. Alvarez has denounced Acuña for plagiarism since the only thing that was changed from one book to the other was the colour of the cover and the name of the author. Indecopi, the office responsible for upholding rules on fair trading, declared on 5 February that it would investigate. There is no indication, however, as to whether this could invalidate Acuña’s candidacy or put his support in jeopardy.
In previous elections, the authorities have ruled out candidates for submitting false information. In 2010, the mayoral candidacy in Lima of Alberto Kouri was invalidated on a procedural point, helping to catapult Susana Villarán into the political limelight as mayor. The fact that both Acuña and Guzmán face threats of this sort, has increased the uncertainties (and with them the level of speculation) as to who will eventually win in the current contest.