Alejandro Salas is the Regional Director for the Americas at Transparency International. The following article was first published on Fox News Latino.
Listening to Peruvian media in recent days, there is one question that keeps reappearing – is corruption winning in our country? Over half of Peru’s population perceives corruption to be the main problem facing the country, according to the 2010 National Corruption Perceptions Survey. This Andean country, as others in Latin America, has been affected by recurrent corruption scandals in the highest spheres of politics and government in the past years. The last few days have shown that his year will be no exception.
Peru’s vice-president, Omar Chehade, is undergoing investigations by the national congress and the attorney general for allegedly asking police generals to vacate land to support a powerful business group involved in a dispute to gain control of a sugar production factory. If these allegations prove to be true, he is facing an embarrassing case of cronyism.
This latest scandal has characteristics common to most high-level Peruvian corruption stories regardless of the political color of the government in power.