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Peru's President Castillo accuses prosecutors of a 'coup'

October 12, 2022

Peru's top prosecutor suspects President Pedro Castillo of heading a "criminal organization" that engaged in corruption. But Castillo pledged to finish his term.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo
Pervian President Pedro Castillo is accused of heading a corruption ringImage: El Comercio/GDA/ZUMA/picture alliance

Peru's attorney general on Tuesday filed a constitutional complaint against President Pedro Castillo.

Castillo was already facing five criminal investigations over alleged corruption.

What do we know about the complaint?

"We have found very serious indications of a criminal organization that has taken roots in the government," Attorney-General Patricia Benavides said.

The Attorney-General's office said it suspects the president of heading a criminal organization that aimed to "capture, control and direct hiring processes at different levels of government to obtain illicit profits."

The complaint includes two former ministers who are accused of graft.

On Monday, Peruvian law enforcement raided the presidential palace in Lima after having acquired an arrest warrant for Castillo's sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes. Agents were unsuccessful in locating Paredes.

President and PM deny wrongdoing

Castillo denies any wrongdoing and has pledged to finish his term in 2026.

He has called the constitutional complaint and investigations into him and his alleged allies a "coup d'etat."

Prime Minister Anibal Torres said the constitutional complaint was itself unconstitutional, arguing that Peru's president can only be charged with treason or obstructing new elections.

He said on Tuesday that the attorney general's office did not have "direct proof" of criminal dealing by the president and that the complaint was based on the testimony of "third parties."

Peru has had five presidents since 2016. One president was impeached and another resigned before a vote on impeachment. Castillo's presidency has so far survived two impeachment bids.

sdi/dj (Reuters, EFE, AFP)