Peru’s prosecutors are seeking a 35-year prison term for the country’s former president, Martín Vizcarra, on charges of bribery and influence peddling. The case is part of a widespread corruption investigation known as “Lava Jato,” which has implicated dozens of politicians and business leaders across Latin America.
Vizcarra is accused of taking more than $2 million in bribes while serving as governor of the Moquegua region between 2011 and 2014. He allegedly accepted the bribes in exchange for awarding contracts to a construction company.
The former president has denied the charges and claims they are politically motivated. Vizcarra was impeached by Peru’s Congress in November 2020 on separate corruption allegations and was barred from holding public office for 10 years.
Vizcarra’s trial is expected to begin in the coming months. His case is just one of many in Peru’s ongoing anti-corruption crackdown, which has led to the arrest and prosecution of several high-profile figures.
The Lava Jato investigation began in Brazil in 2014 and has since spread to several other countries in the region, including Peru. The investigation has revealed widespread corruption involving top politicians and business leaders, leading to the imprisonment of many high-ranking officials.
Peru has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with one of the highest death rates per capita in the world. The country has been in political turmoil in recent years, with several presidents being forced out of office due to corruption allegations and protests.