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  • President Martin Vizcarra during a meeting in Lima, Peru, Sept.13, 2020.

    President Martin Vizcarra during a meeting in Lima, Peru, Sept.13, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 19 October 2020
Opinion

Investigations indicate that he would have received payments in order to facilitate construction contracts.

New witnesses Sunday accused Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra of receiving about US$370,000 in bribes to favor companies that wanted to secure construction contracts while he was the governor of Moquegua between 2011 and 2014.

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According to investigations released by the local outlets La República y El Comercio, the accusations were allegedly made by three witnesses, one of them a senior official of the previous government of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and with close ties to Vizcarra.

They have denounced that Vizcarra received high payments to authorize the construction of an irrigation project close to the Ilo town and a hospital in Moquegua, accusations that have been rejected by the current president.

This is not the first time Vizcarra gets involved in a corruption scandal this year. In mid-September, an investigation brought to light that between 2018 and 2020 the President authorized nine irregular contracts signed between Peru's Culture Ministry and singer Ricardo Cisneros, who is close to Vizcarra.

Then, the Prosecutor's Office revealed to be conducting “an operation aimed at the preliminary arrest of 10 people under investigation for alleged crimes of corruption.”

However, Vizcarra won't be prosecuted until he retires as president next July 2021. Peru’s constitution states that a sitting president enjoys immunity from prosecution whilst in office.

"I have my head held high and my conscience is clear," Vizcarra said at that time. "Let's continue working altogether for what matters to Peruvians: our health and prosperity." 

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