LIMA- The Attorney General of Peru revealed on Tuesday a constitutional complaint before Congress against President Pedro Castillo, for alleged influence peddling, abuse of power and other crimes, hours after a raid on the homes of legislators, officials and the house of the president’s sister.
Attorney General Patricia Benavides said at a press conference on social networks that the investigators found “serious evidence” that there is a criminal organization headed by the left-wing president.
“Today we present before the Congress of the Republic the constitutional complaint against President Pedro Castillo and the other registered members of the alleged criminal organization,” said Benavides.
Presidents in Peru have immunity and cannot normally be charged with criminal offences. The constitutional complaint represents a relevant step to lift that restriction, in one of the most aggressive measures taken against Castillo since he came to power.
The prosecutors, who also accused former ministers of being involved in corruption practices, are investigating legislators from a centrist party in Congress, dominated by the opposition, for allegedly benefiting from public works and placing officials in key positions, in exchange for supporting the management of the agent.
Castillo, who took office in July 2021, faces several scandals and has survived two impeachment attempts in the fragmented Congress. The president denies acts of corruption and has accused the prosecutors of being accomplices of powerful groups that seek his impeachment.
Castillo faces five investigations, among them for the alleged crimes of influence peddling, obstruction of justice, directing a criminal organization and even plagiarism of his teacher’s master’s thesis.
The complaints include the president’s wife and his sister-in-law, who is currently serving a 30-month pre-trial detention, in the biggest escalation in the tax investigations.