The President of Peru is facing an investigation into a corruption case

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LIMA, Peru – Peruvian President Pedro Castillo appeared before national prosecutors on Friday to address issues as part of an investigation against him, which he is accused of leading an alleged criminal conspiracy that received bribes for public construction orders.

Earlier, Castillo said on Twitter that he was trying to “clear the accusations and speculations … in an act of transparency with the people and cooperation with the judiciary.”

The president strolled the streets of Lima’s historic center, including the main road where traffic was blocked. He was surrounded by riot police and riot police, some on horseback and others on motorcycles.

Castillo shook hands with several people present, but declined to answer questions from reporters.

Dozens of people shouted “criminal” at the president through megaphones, while others called for his arrest.

Prosecutors are also investigating former President Transport Minister Juan Silva and six lawmakers. The investigation is linked to allegations that a criminal group led by Castillo claimed to have benefited from works improperly distributed to some business leaders.

This is the first time in Peru’s history that the district attorney’s office is investigating an incumbent president.

Six former Peruvian presidents who ruled the country between 1985 and 2020 have been convicted, charged or investigated for corruption or money laundering. One of them, Alan Garcia, who was president from 1985 to 1990 and then again from 2006 to 2011, committed suicide before being arrested as part of a bribery investigation by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

In his 10 months in office, Castillo has survived two attempts at impeachment in Congress, a continuation of the political crisis that began in Peru in 2016 and led to instability, as well as five presidents and three dissolutions of Congress.

Surveys show that Peruvians are very unhappy with both Castillo and Congress.

A May study by the Peruvian Research Institute found that Castillo suffered 70% disapproval, while Congress was 87%. More than half of the population – 67% – believe that the best thing for the country would be for the president and Congress to resign so that new elections can be held.

Castillo was sworn in on July 28, 2021, and his administration is expected to last five years, until July 28, 2026.

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