Four congressmen representing three political parties were suspended for ethical infractions last week.
Heriberto Benitez, a member of Luis Castañeda’s National Solidarity party representing Ancash, was suspended for 120 days for obstructing justice during La Centralita investigations into the corrupt political machine of Ancash governor Cesar Alvarez. The ethics committee reported that Benitez impeded a raid on the Chimbote house known as “La Centralita” where Alvarez’s circle conducted illegal wiretapping. La Centralita was managed by fugitive political operative Martin Belaunde, who is awaiting extradition from Bolivia.
Victor Crisologo, another Ancash congressman from Alejandro Toledo’s Possible Peru coalition, was also suspended 120 days for trying to prevent the raid on La Centralita.
Possible Peru congressman Jose Leon from La Libertad was suspended 60 days for lying about his links to Mexican drug trafficker Rodrigo Torres. Torres is a fugitive suspected of transporting seven tons of cocaine seized in Trujillo. When investigators found Torres had been living in an apartment owned by the congressman, Leon told investigators he rented the residence to a woman.
Victor Grandez, a member of Keiko Fujimori’s Popular Strength party who represents Iquitos, was suspended for 120 days Thursday night for not preventing underage prostitution in an Iquitos hotel owned by his mother. Ethics committee chairman Daniel Mora argued that Grandez’s 80-year-old mother is only listed as the legal owner for tax purposes, and that Grandez was knowledgeable of underage prostitutes at the Toro Bravo hotel.
The congressional ethics committee is charged with investigating complaints against members of Peru’s congress. The committee submits a report with recommended punishment for legal or ethical infractions to be voted on by congress. Members of congress can be suspended for three to 120 days.
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