"For us the fundamental thing is that at this moment, if we begin to emerge from this crisis of widespread corruption, that we remember it’s not the political class alone. There is a very strong link with the business sector.”
Progressive media outlet Nodal interviewed leftist congresswoman Indira Huilca from the New Peru Movement Party this week. During the interview, they discussed Peru’s political crisis and what the left sees as the solution to the never-ending corruption scandals that have engulfed the country. Huilca stated stated that Congress has lost legitimacy and is only trying to impede the rooting out of corruption that they represent, but that a genuine solution will involve going much further than Vizcarra is proposing, and will require confronting the corporate interests fueling corruption.
Peru’s political crisis reached a boiling point on Monday night when President Martin Vizcarra dissolved congress and called for new elections. In response, Congress refused to recognise his authority and instead declared his Vice President, Mercedes Aaroz, as interim President. The issue was resolved the following day when military and police commanders pledged their loyalty to President Vizcarra, and ensured the closing of congress, barring lawmakers from entering the legislative building.
Huilca backs this move, adding “the support of the Armed Forces is incidental, which gives legitimacy to the dissolution of Congress, above all, is the support of citizens.”
She further explained why congress is opposed to Vizcarra’s dissolution attempt and anti-corruption reforms that have seen every major party implicated in taking bribes from the Brazilian company Odebrecht, in exchange for public contracts, saying, “What the main parties within the Parliament have been doing is using the power of the state to prevent their members from answering charges, and also to protect their allies in the Judiciary.”
The largest party in congress is the right-wing Fuerza Popular, led by Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the country’s former dictator. Keiko Fujimori is currently under house arrest for laundering money to hide the origins that disgraced Brazilian company Odebrecht was financing her election campaign. Huilca says that congress’ attempt to change the make-up of the judiciary was in order to secure clemency for Fujimori.
"Why the attempt to make this renewal of magistrates so fast? Because Mrs. Keiko Fujimori, who is the leader of the majority party in parliament, has a pending constitutional appeal for release. She is under pretrial detention for money laundering and for allegedly receiving money from Odebrecht, so changing the magistrates means her freedom would be secured. That is why the president decided to use a mechanism of the constitution to propose that the process of election to the constitutional tribunal be halted.”
When asked about what the left sees as the solution, Huilca said that Vizcarra’s measures only seek to tackle corruption among politicians, and that business interests that pay the bribes should also be confronted.
“For us the fundamental thing is that at this moment, if we begin to emerge from this crisis of widespread corruption, that we remember it’s not the political class alone. There is a very strong link with the business sector.”
She added that along with that, wider structural change is needed, outlining her vision, “To get out of this crisis requires not only prosecuting corrupt politicians, but also making structural changes. On our part, we believe there must be a discussion about a new constitution in our country, remembering that the one we have was the product of a coup d'etat in 1992, a product of the dictatorship.”