Peru President addresses Toledo's Odebrecht scandal

LIMA, PERÚ - JULIO 28. El presidente Pedro Pablo Kuczynski hace su ingreso a Palacio de Gobierno. Foto: Andina /Prensa Presidencia

12:19 | Lima, Feb. 5.

Accusations against former President Alejandro Toledo constitute "shame" and a "betrayal against the Peruvian people," current Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski affirmed on Sunday morning.

Toledo —who served as Peru's President in 2001-2006— has been accused of receiving bribes from corruption-tainted Odebrecht, La Republica newspaper revealed on Friday.

He would have received US$20 million from the Brazilian conglomerate to secure the Inter-oceanic Highway contract.

"I am very hurt by news involving former President Toledo. It constitutes a betrayal against the Peruvian people, and it is also a betrayal to his colleagues, who undertook great efforts. I truly believe this is very shameful […]," Mr. Kuczynski told Colombia's W Radio station.

Thus, the 78-year-old said Toledo must "return to Peru" in order to face the law and answer the questions to be made by the Prosecutor's Office.

According to Peru21 newspaper, the revelations were made by former Odebrecht Executive Director based in Peru, Jorge Henrique Simones Barata.

Barata was one of the company's top executives responsible for managing major projects in the Andean country. Payments allegedly began in 2005, one year before Toledo left office. 

I did not participate

Although the current Head of State served as Prime and Finance Minister during the Toledo administration, Mr. Kuczynski assured W Radio he had not participated in the aforementioned illegal negotiations.

"According to Peruvian media outlets, those things were negotiated outside Peru, in Rio de Janeiro. I certainly was not there. If I had known about those meetings, I would have step down immediately," he expressed.

"If all this is true, it means a huge shame, a betrayal to Peru, and a lack of respect to his colleagues [us], who undertook great efforts to govern properly," he added.


Published: 2/5/2017