President of Puno region gripped by criticism and criminal allegations

The walls are starting to close in from all sides on Hernán Fuentes, the outspoken leftist regional president of Puno.

In an attempt to deflect mounting political hostility, Fuentes charges he is the victim of political persecution by President Alan Garcia’s conservative government. But with even his own brother adding his voice to the cacophony of criticism, it appears unlikely he’ll escape from his legal and political troubles unscathed.

Isauro Fuentes questioned his brother’s management abilities.

“He has become drunk with power,” Isauro told daily tabloid Puno Correo, adding that Hernán’s destiny should lie in the hands of popular justice.

Among Hernán Fuentes’ plans include making Puno, one of Peru’s southeastern provinces, an independent state. He publicly rejected Peru’s nationwide evaluation of public sector teachers, and opposes the central government’s policy of eradication of coca, the key ingredient of cocaine.

Fuentes is a strong supporter of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, the network of cultural centers, which many Peruvian lawmakers believe are ideological fronts for President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to meddle in Peru’s internal affairs and promote a regional revolution.

President of Congress, Luis Gonzales Posada, told Radioprogramas Fuentes “is causing great harm to his region, but also to Peru’s global image with his extreme ideology.”

Presidents of other Peruvian regions express opposition to Fuentes’ views, and many local Puno citizens are reportedly rising up against him with the aim of collecting 200,000 signatures to remove him from office. Hermógenes Carrión, leader of the revocation campaign, told daily El Comercio that three groups have now joined forces to put an end to what he described as rampant corruption.

“His ouster will be for abuse of authority, nepotism, misuse of funds in all public works,” Carrión said. “The population of Puno no longer believes in the regional president. There is widespread discontent.”

Fuentes faces investigation by the Peruvian Congress on a bevy of alleged mismanagement and malfeasance charges. He reportedly allocated more than $1 million of his budget to a dubious line item titled, “Tips.” He also faces allegations that bought himself a luxury 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser.

According to Pachamama Radio, Puno’s Chamber of Commerce President, Victor Madariaga Ancieta, thinks that Fuentes’ “unfounded and incoherent” opinions give the people of Puno a bad image. “The Puno business community does not agree with these views,” he said.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.