Peru has issued a "red alert" for the capture of 90 people accused of corruption during the administration of former President Alberto Fujimori, including a raft of his family members, underscoring how deeply corruption is engrained in the upper echelons of Peruvian politics and society.
Peru's top anti-corruption prosecutor, Julio Arbizu, said the order had been issued for their capture to allow international police body Interpol to search for the suspects around the world, reported Peru 21.
Former president Fujimori's sisters, brother-in-law and a niece are among the people wanted, alongside ex-prosecutors and the former defense and interior minister Enrique Malca Villanueva.
Malca Villanueva has filed a claim with Interpol's headquarters in France stating he is being "politically persecuted," thus blocking his arrest warrant. According to Arbizu, others on the list have made similar claims, reported La Republica. The prosecutor added that legal loopholes had allowed many of those accused of wrongdoing under Fujimori to evade capture.
InSight Crime Analysis
Corruption runs deep in Peruvian politics, even by Latin American standards. During the last presidential elections, allegations of drug money links dogged all the major candidates, including Fujimori's daughter Keiko, who is accused of accepting thousands of dollars in illicit funds. Just last week Peruvian magazine Caretas reported that 19 members of the current administration were under investigation for drug ties; members of the second Alan Garcia administration are being investigated for accepting cash payoffs in return for lowering sentences of convicted drug traffickers.
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The extent to which corruption allegations spread across so much of the Fujimori family tree remains staggering, and the fact that the authorities have failed to catch so many suspects is illustrative of the embedded culture of impunity within the Peruvian justice system. Fujimori's decade of increasingly authoritarian rule greatly damaged the independence of the judicial system and things didn't get much better under his successor, Garcia.