Peru: Removal of Lava Jato case prosecutors brought protesters to the streets

09:42 | Lima, Jan. 1.

Hundreds of Peruvian citizens gathered at Lima's San Martin Square on New Year's Eve to protest against Attorney General Pedro Chavarry's decision to remove Prosecutors Rafael Vela and Jose Domingo Perez from the Lava Jato case.

The demonstration brought members of political and human rights groups, former ministers, politicians, and the general public together.

Many of them carried placards expressing their rejection of Chavarry and support for Vela and Perez.

Police officers stood nearby as the protest continued in order to prevent any acts of violence.

Afterwards, a group of demonstrators took the main streets of downtown Lima.  

According to some marchers, this is only the beginning of a series of protests that will take place in the coming days in rejection of the Attorney General's decision, which they described as a measure in favor of impunity.

Lava Jato Case Special Prosecution Group Coordinator Rafael Vela had previously affirmed there was hostility against the Odebrecht investigation prosecutors. Reports suggested the existence of friction between his team and Attorney General Pedro Chavarry.

In Peru, the Attorney General is not designated or confirmed by the President of the Republic. In fact, President Vizcarra expressed his full support to the continuation of Prosecutors Rafael Vela and Jose Domingo Perez in the Lava Jato case.


As is known, the Brazilian construction giant admitted to having paid millions in bribes to government officials in Peru, in order to secure public-works contracts.

As a result, Odebrecht benefited from over US$143 million between 2005 and 2014 in Peru, according to the U.S. Justice Department. 

In addition, four ex-Presidents have been linked to the Brazilian company such as: Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006), Alan Garcia (2006-2011), Ollanta Humala (2011-2016), and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018)

Former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori —currently under preventive detention— also allegedly received money from Odebrecht for her 2011 campaign.


Published: 1/1/2019
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