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Peru's National Prosecutor Under Scrutiny Amid Influence Peddling Allegations

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Geeta Pillai
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Peru's National Prosecutor Under Scrutiny Amid Influence Peddling Allegations

In a critical development in Peru, the National Prosecutor, Patricia Benavides, finds herself under the scrutiny of disciplinary proceedings. The National Board of Justice (Junta Nacional de Justicia - JNJ), the country's apex judiciary governance body, has initiated the proceedings following allegations of influence peddling within Benavides' inner circle.

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Unearthing The Allegations

The investigation surrounding Benavides was spearheaded by the Special Team of Prosecutors Against Corruption of Power (Eficcop) and the Division of Investigation of High Complexity Crimes (Diviac) of the Police. The probe brought to light a potential criminal organization operating within the high ranks of the Public Ministry. The organization is alleged to have been involved in illicitly influencing congressional decisions, including the removal of JNJ officials, the appointment of the current Ombudsman, and the disqualification of former National Prosecutor Zoraida Ávalos.

Benavides' Retaliation

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In the wake of the investigation's revelations, Benavides ousted the coordinator of Eficcop, Marita Barreto. In a surprising turn of events, Benavides claimed that the investigations were a desperate attempt to obstruct her inquiries into government representatives implicated in deaths during protests from December to March. Despite appointing a new coordinator, the nominee declined the offer citing personal reasons.

Unfolding Controversies

Adding fuel to the fire, at least 37 audio recordings have surfaced, revealing coordination between a general prosecutor's advisor and congresspersons. Furthermore, Benavides has lodged a constitutional complaint in Congress against President Dina Boluarte and other high-ranking officials for aggravated homicide.

The immediate disciplinary action taken by the JNJ is a testament to their commitment to uphold the Constitution and protect the public interest. As this story unfolds, it serves as a stark reminder of the potential pitfalls of power and the importance of transparency and accountability in public office.

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