Proetica: Eliminate Congressional Immunity to Strengthen Anti-Corruption

Peru’s National Council for Public Ethics, Proetica, said Thursday that a proposal to eliminate congressional immunity would strengthen anti-corruption efforts, state news agency Andina reported.

Proetica executive director Cecilia Blondet said that during the previous legislature some lawmakers used the immunity as a “shield” to dodge justice.

“If we want a true anti-corruption shock we will have to eliminate congressional immunity,” Blondet said.

Second Vice-President and congressman Omar Chehade presented an initiative to the legislature this week.  Chehade said that the immunity has served as a “vehicle for impunity.”

“We see them now and we saw them in the last Congress, the number of lawmakers with pending processes who simply don’t show up or lack respect for justice, the judiciary branch and the law,” said Chehade. “This is the reference that citizens have and it is a very counter-productive reference.”

In most opinion polls, Peru’s Congress is regularly cited by residents as being the most corrupt. 

There are currently eight members of the new Congress under investigation by the state attorney’s office, for suspicion of money laundering, accepting bribes, conflict of interests, tax evasion, and lying on their resumes. 

Four of those under investigation are from the ruling Gana Peru party and four from Fujimori’s Fuerza 2011.    The most publicized case is that of Amado Romero of Gana Peru, who is involved in the informal gold mining industry in Madre de Dios and has allegedly evaded taxes and laundered money as well as taken bribes from gold miners to protect their interests in Congress. He has been removed from the Energy and Mines Commission.

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One Comment

  1. deborah sletten says:

    As a former officer on the board of directors of a non profit organization I know how difficult it is to keep other members on track. Getting ride of immunity is a good place to start but then you need safety nets for snitchers or nobody will want to put it on the line.

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