The last week brought new insights into how the Peruvian political system has worked over the last few years.
José Luis Sardón has been one of the seven members of the Constitutional Tribunal (TC). This is the ultimate adjudicator as to what is constitutional or not in Peru. It has transpired that an NGO he set up, Reflexión Democrática, was the conduit for providing money to the campaigns of would-be members of Congress in 2011, including money channelled by Confiep, the businessmen’s lobby organisation.
Of the 23 candidates for Congress in 2011 funded by this NGO, eight were from Fuerza Popular. The total channelled was no less than US$20,000. These contributions never showed up in the accounts presented to the electoral administration authority, ONPE. The leading fujimoristas who benefitted include Luz Salgado, Cecilia Chacón and Alejandro Aguinaga.
Three years later, in 2014, these were among the members of Congress who voted for Sardón to become a member of the TC. No sooner elected to his new post, Sardón resigned as director of Reflexión Democrática.
Thereafter, he was one of those who supported the pardon for Alberto Fujimori. More recently he was one of those who voted in favour of the release from prison of Keiko Fujimori, a move opposed by three other members of the TC.
As has become clear in recent weeks, Keiko Fujimori’s candidacy for president was supported by unacknowledged contributions from a number of major business groups, in particular the US$3.6 billion contribution made by Dionisio Romero.