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News > Peru

Peru: Congress to Debate Dismissal of National Justice Council

  • Aldo Vasquez (C) and other JNJ members.

    Aldo Vasquez (C) and other JNJ members. | Photo: X/ @perunewsletters

Published 15 December 2023

For the removal of the JNJ members to proceed, the motion must receive a minimum vote of 87 out of 130 legislators.

On Friday, the Peruvian Congress will decide whether to remove the members of the National Council of Justice (JNJ), the highest body in the Judiciary.


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"The removal of the seven members of the National Council of Justice is nothing but its liquidation. Unfortunately, it implies impunity," JNJ Vice President Aldo Vasquez denounced.

The motion is driven by legislators Jorge Montoya and Alejandro Muñante of the Renewal Popular party. These far-right politicians accuse the JNJ of "blatantly committing acts contrary to the law" for suspending magistrate Patricia Benavides as attorney general.

This measure was taken by the JNJ after a special team of anti-corruption prosecutors and the National Police (PNP) opened an investigation into an alleged network of influence trafficking within the Public Ministry.

The investigation targets an alleged network accused of illicitly influencing "decisions of congressmen" for the removal of JNJ members, the appointment of the current ombudsman, Josue Gutierrez, and the disqualification of former attorney general Zoraida Avalos.

Jaime Villanueva, who was one of the chief advisors to the prosecutor, was released last week after agreeing to cooperate with justice and acknowledging the truth of the chats that led to the investigation into the coordination he carried out on behalf of Benavides.

However, Montoya and Muñante claim that the JNJ violated norms by suspending the attorney general directly without prior authorization from Congress, as she held immunity from the position. Therefore, they request the immediate removal of the JNJ members.

On Thursday, Muñante stated that it is necessary to give the magistrates a "restraining order" after they left open the possibility of not appearing before the Congress.

"I am not surprised that the members of the JNJ, sheltered in who knows what, are calling for contempt, instigating contempt, disobedience, resistance to authority, which is a crime, according to our Penal Code," he declared.

The legislator affirmed that the motion "is not an attack against the institution" since, if the removal is approved, the magistrates will be replaced by their substitutes, who continue and carry on with all functions and competencies.

The Congress President Alejandro Soto summoned the JNJ members to exercise their right to defense starting from 3:00 PM on Friday, after which the plenary will debate for two hours before voting.

For the removal of the JNJ members to proceed, the motion must receive a minimum vote of 87 out of 130 legislators.


Aldo Vasquez
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