Peru president, ex-president probed for alleged money laundering

Probe is part of continuing investigation into alleged campaign finance crimes committed during Peru’s 2021 presidential race.

Peruvian prosecutors are investigating President Dina Boluarte and former president Pedro Castillo for allegedly laundering money as part of a criminal organisation.

The probe into the alleged crimes by Boluarte and Castillo is part of a continuing investigation into alleged campaign finance crimes committed during Peru’s 2021 presidential race.

The announcement by the attorney general’s office on Tuesday comes after a former adviser to Castillo told local media that he had financed part of Castillo’s presidential campaign in 2021, as well as trips for Boluarte when she was running to be Castillo’s vice president.

“The alleged commission of these crimes would have occurred during the electoral campaign of Peru Libre,” the attorney general’s office said, referencing the Marxist party that led Castillo to the presidency of the Andean country.

Over the weekend, Boluarte denied receiving illegal campaign contributions and said corruption accusations were a “political manoeuvre” seeking to undermine her government.

Political crisis

Castillo was removed from office in December after attempting to dissolve Congress before an impeachment vote. Boluarte ascended to the presidency in the wake of his removal and arrest.

Peru has been embroiled in a political crisis since then. Boluarte took over as president but has faced calls to resign by protesters also demanding new elections.

Boluarte is also currently under investigation for her alleged role in the deaths of protesters killed in clashes with security forces in the months after she took office.

Forty-nine civilians and seven members of the security forces have died in the clashes since the protests started in December, according to the ombudsman’s office.

Even if Boluarte faces a concrete charge, as president she could not face a court until her mandate ends in 2026.

Boluarte is Peru’s sixth president since March 2018 and the first woman to hold the role.

The prosecutors’ announcement comes shortly before Congress, controlled by the right but now an ally of Boluarte, will debate on Thursday the admission of a motion to remove the president.

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