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    Stock photo of Odebrecht headquarters | Photo: Venezuela Analysis

Published 14 May 2019

Villaran is said to have accepted over US$10 million from Odebrecht for her reelection campaign.

Yet another senior figure in Peruvian politics will go to jail for corruption in relation to the Odebrecht scandal. The former mayor of Peru’s Capital, Lima, has been given 18 months of preventive detention.

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Susana Villaran, who governed the city of Lima between 2010 and 2015, admitted to accepting large campaign contributions from the disgraced Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. On Tuesday, Judge Jorge Luis Chavez Tamariz ordered preventive detention whilst wider investigations into Villaran's affairs are ongoing. He decided on preventive detention as he believes that the former mayor is a flight risk and may obstruct the course of justice.

Villaran is said to have accepted over US$10 million from Odebrecht for her reelection campaign and for the ‘No’ campaign in a referendum to revoke her as mayor. There are concerns that these contributions were made in exchange for favors or public sector contracts. Villaran maintains that although she accepted the money, there was no wrongdoing in return.

Odebrecht has been implicated in corruption scandals involving almost all of Peru’s political class, often accused of offering bribes in exchange for lucrative state contracts. It has led to the impeachment of former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, and brought down another former President Alan Garcia, who recently committed suicide as he faced similar allegations of Odebrecht financing his election campaigns. All but one of Peru’s living ex-presidents are either in jail or on the run due to corruption charges against them.

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