Judge rejects prosecutor’s appeal to avoid return to alledgedly dangerous post

A state prosecutor fighting reassignment to a jungle post for fear of reprisals from one of Peru’s most notorious drug barons has suffered another legal setback.

Judge Teresa Jara García rejected a habeas corpus appeal by prosecutor Luz Loayza against Attorney General Adelaida Bolívar and members of Supreme Court of Prosecutors, according to daily El Comercio.

Loayza was appealing orders from the attorney general and the Supreme Court that she return to her post in the jungle city of Iquitos, where Loayza says her life would be in danger jailed cocaine kingpin Fernando Zevallos. Jara said she made the decision last Friday however would not provide more information.

“It’s incredible, I can’t believe she rejected the habeas corpus without hearing my order,” Loayza told El Comercio, following news of Jara’s decision. “I think the truth is that investigating Zevallos has been the end of my career… I will have to resign. You can’t be fighting all the time. It is an unequal fight. In the end divine justice prevails.”

In November 2005, Loayza, 47, brought charges against Zevallos, who is currently serving a 20 year sentence for money laundering and drug trafficking. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials described him as a Peruvian “Al Capone,” because of his manipulation of Peru’s courts, media and police and his silencing of witnesses through bribes, threats and murder.

Bolívar was the first to deny Loayza’s transfer request in September 2006, a day after the attorney general reportedly received a seven-page letter from Zevallos requesting Loayza’s return to Iquitos. Loayza appealed that decision to the Supreme Council, which denied the appeal and fell in line with Bolívar arguing Loayza failed to properly report death threats to her superiors.

President Alan Garcia and his interior minister have both sided with Loayza, citing police intelligence reports that say her life would be jeopardized if she is forced to return to Iquitos.

Lawyer Mario Amoretti told El Comercio, Loayza can appeal Jara’s decision to the Superior Court. If that appeal is rejected, the Constitutional Tribunal, Peru’s highest court, would be her last resort.

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