Six years after the beginning of the investigations into the corruption scandal linked to the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, the Peruvian justice system began the first oral trial against a former president.
Ollanta Humala, who governed between 2011 and 2016, is prosecuted together with his wife, Nadine Heredia, for the crime of aggravated money laundering in the modality of conversion, that is, through false nationalism.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office is requesting 20 years in prison for the former president and 26 years and a half for the former First Lady. According to prosecutor Germán Juárez, from the Lava Jato special team, the couple would have received illicit money for the US $3 million, allegedly contributed by the government of Venezuela (in 2006) and Odebrecht (in 2011) to the campaigns of the Nationalist Party in which Humala was a candidate for President of Peru, which would have been hidden through the purchase of the real estate.
With this, the prosecutor assures that the former president submitted to the economic interests of Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela and Lula da Silva’s Brazil to obtain monetary support from those governments.
The complaint was filed by prosecutor Germán Juárez, from the special Lava Jato team, and it also includes accusations against nine other people, among them Heredia’s brother and mother. It also requests the dissolution of the Nationalist Party, implicated in the case as a legal entity, which is alleged to be a criminal gang that would have received illegal money.
It should be noted that due to this investigation, Humala and Heredia were in preventive detention, between 2017 and 2018, for 9 months, until the Constitutional Court ordered their release.
The beginning of the investigation dates back to 2015, after the discovery of some agendas allegedly owned by the then-first lady, which contained alleged financial information of the Nationalist Party that revealed crimes.
In 2016, Odebrecht, acknowledged having paid millions of dollars in bribes and illegal campaign contributions, in Peru and other Latin American countries, since the beginning of the 21st century.
Humala is the first of a total of four presidents to go on trial for the Odebrecht corruption scheme in Peru, in a period covering the last two decades. The other three former governors splashed by this scandal are Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2018), Alan García (2006-2011), and Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006). In addition, former Odebrecht bosses confessed to having illegally distributed millions of dollars to politicians, including Keiko Fujimori, whose trial could begin before the end of the year.
It should be recalled that despite this, in 2021, Humala ran for the presidency, obtaining only 1.3% of the votes and his party did not obtain any seats in Congress.