Another high-ranking Peruvian regional official has been detained over allegations of corruption, daily Peru.21 reported.
Klever Melendez, the regional president of Pasco, was arrested by anti-corruption police on Tuesday over allegations he received a bribe in exchange for awarding public works.
The legal adviser to the central Andean region, Juan Manuel Boza, was also arrested.
The allegations emerged after a 2010 video showed the Pasco officials meeting with a consortium that was interested in winning several public contracts. In the video, the officials were allegedly negotiating a bribe of $100,000.
The arrest is the latest in a number of allegations of widespread corruption in Peru’s regional governments, which began to fully administrate their own income only about 10 years ago when the Toledo administration implemented the long-planned strategy to decentralize decision-making away from Lima. Until then, with the exception of local taxes and incomes, the regional budgets were decided and disbursed by the central government.
Experts say corruption has flared up in the regional governments due to the large inflow of resources from taxes paid by mining companies and the insufficient state controls to monitor how the funds are spent. The government also did not implement any gradual training or hands-on guidance to help regional authorities gain experience in long-term planning and accountability.
In May, the regional president of Ancash, Cesar Alvarez, was arrested as part of an arrest warrant that included more than 2 dozen other individuals in connection to the murder of a political rival that had denounced corruption in his administration.
Alvarez, who has denied wrongdoing, was transferred to the maximum security Piedras Gordas prison this week.
Anti-corruption prosecutors have also been eyeing cases involving a number of other regional presidents, including the head of the northern departments of Tumbes and Cajamarca.