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Investigation into Government Corruption Expands in Peru

LADB Article ID: 80305
Category/Department: Peru
Date: 2017-05-26
By: Elsa Chanduví Jaña

More than 20 provincial and district mayors in Peru are facing trial or have been sentenced for crimes of corruption, as the number of corruption cases under investigation by the country’s justice system has increased by 60% in the past three years.“I believe that if anything is efficient in Peru, it is corruption,” said Ombudsman Walter Gutiérrez during a press conference with foreign correspondent in May.The number of investigations went from 20,563 in 2013 to 32,925 by the end of 2016, Gutiérrez said as he presented his first report on corruption and announced the creation of an anti-corruption attaché at the ombudsman’s office. Gutiérrez said annual losses from corruption amount to 12 billion soles (approximately US$3.63 billion) according to figures compiled by Peru’s comptroller general. With that money, the government could finance all its social programs for two years or provide food to 1.3 million people who live in poverty for three years. Of the thousands of cases being investigated in Peru, half relate to embezzlement or diversion of public funds and to collusion (defrauding the state in acquisitions and public contracting of goods). The third most frequent crime is bribery of a judge or public civil servant.

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