The former secretary general of President Pedro Castillo, Bruno Pacheco, turned himself into the Special Team of Prosecutors against Corruption of Power, who was on the run during investigations of alleged influence peddling in the president’s entourage. He is currently in t
the custody of a special police anti-corruption team.
In November last year, after an authorized operation, prosecutors found US$ 20,000 in the bathroom of Pacheco’s office in the Government Palace, in the framework of an investigation into alleged government interference in the promotion of high-ranking officers in the Armed Forces.
President Castillo, who is included in the investigation and others on alleged corruption in the government, rejected the accusations against him. And, upon Pacheco’s capture, he said via Twitter that, “for my government, it is satisfactory that Mr. Bruno Pacheco has made himself available to justice. That evidences the falsehood about the alleged protection of the Executive, we hope that the truth will prevail”.
Attorney General Patricia Benavides said that she will soon report on the outcome of the investigations and was emphatic in pointing out that in the fight against corruption there will be no “untouchables”, and they will not give an inch in this sense.
Bruno Pacheco has been giving qualified information to the police and prosecutors since Sunday, although the formal interrogation took place on Tuesday.
In his first statements, he reportedly said that the parliamentary group known as ‘Los Niños’ is made up of 12 congressmen who coordinate and support President Pedro Castillo, and not six as businesswoman Karelim Lopez had stated.
It should be recalled that Karelim Lopez appeared before the Congressional Oversight Commission to testify on the alleged violation of transparency by President Castillo and former secretary Bruno Pacheco. The businesswoman had been summoned as an investigated person and ratified the accusations against the President, assuring that she was part of a criminal organization together with former minister Juan Silva and his nephews, now fugitives from justice.
Pacheco assured that there were indeed illicit payments in the promotions to generals of the Peruvian National Police (PNP) in November 2021. The list of 10 police officers allegedly paid US$20,000 to be promoted to the rank of general with the consent of the head of state. In addition, he said that this list was elaborated by the president’s nephews, Fray Vásquez and Gian Marco Castillo, together with the PNP non-commissioned officer and member of the presidential escort Jorge Tarrillo Gálvez, a list that would have had the approval of the president and was sent to the then general commander of the PNP.
The bribes were allegedly collected through Tarrillo and NCO Nilo Irogin Chávez, also a member of the president’s bodyguard and childhood friend.
Jorge Tarrillo and Nilo Irigoin have been targeted by the Prosecutor’s Office for several months, due to their closeness to and trust in the president. Irigoin’s daughter was allegedly hired at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, during the administration of fugitive Juan Silva.
She also said that it was the general undersecretary of the Palace, Beder Camacho, who helped him to evade his first arrest warrant, at the end of March of this year.
The Attorney General’s Office has remained tight-lipped about the scope, details, and names revealed by Bruno Pacheco in his statement. “We are corroborating what he says. It is important that he testifies, but what he says must have some evidentiary support to have value”, said the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Castillo adds a fourth investigation
It is worth noting that, last Thursday, a week away from his first year in office, President Castillo added a fourth investigation. This time for alleged cover-up, being denounced by his former Interior Minister Mariano Gonzalez, who was fired via Twitter, last week.
But former Minister Gonzalez did not go quietly, and fired everything against Castillo, pointing out that his dismissal would be due to the President’s interest in not looking for different fugitives, who belong to his circles, and who are essential for the clarification of two of his cases of alleged corruption. “I do not doubt that this abrupt departure has to do with obstructing the administration of justice”, accused the former minister.
The denouncing former Minister of the Interior had formed a special police team to capture those implicated in a corruption scheme in the concession of public works, including a former minister, a nephew of President Castillo, and former presidential advisor Bruno Pacheco, who justly turned himself into justice.
As well as the prosecutor’s office, Congress is also investigating Castillo, and several opposition legislators have announced after the denunciation of former minister Gonzalez that they plan to prepare a motion to initiate a new impeachment trial against the president, who has already survived two impeachment attempts.
To remove Castillo from office would require more than 87 votes out of 130 in Congress, something that analysts say is unlikely at this time.