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Peru Congress votes to dismiss comptroller

[JURIST] The Peru Congress [official website] on Monday unanimously voted [press release] to remove the Comptroller, Edgar Alarcon, from office. The vote [Reuters report] to remove Alarcon was initiated over accusations that he gave public funds to the mother of his children, violated ethical rules by running a business while in office, and coerced an auditor to withhold information from Congress. Alarcon has denied any wrongdoing and claims that his removal was a tactic designed to distract the people from the government's mistakes. Although Alarcon was dismissed, audits that were started under his guidance will continue to be executed. After the vote to remove Alarcon, Peruvian opposition leader Keiko Fujimori wrote a letter to President Pablo Kuczynski asking him to meet and open a dialogue about issues facing Peru such as the economy and corruption. It is unclear whether the President accepted this invitation or not.

Corruption is an issue that has been plaguing the Peruvian government. In February, a judge ordered [JURIST report] the arrest of former president Alejandro Toledo for his alleged involvement with a bribery scandal involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht SA. The arrest of Toledo came only days after the Attorney General made it public that he sought the arrest [JURIST report] of Toledo for laundering of assets and influence trafficking. In July 2016, former president Alberto Fujimori made a presidential pardon request [JURIST report] for the incumbent President Kuczynski. Fujimori was currently serving a 25 year prison sentence for human rights abuses during his ten year rule. Fujimori was convicted [JURIST report] of the human rights abuses by a special court in 2009.

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