Peru’s Attorney General Pablo Sanchez sought the arrest of former president Alejandro Toledo Tuesday on charges of laundering of assets and influence trafficking. Peruvian prosecutors opened a formal investigation earlier this week into allegations that Toledo took USD $20 million in bribes from Odebrecht [corporate website], a Brazilian construction company. It is believed that Toledo received the funds in exchange for allowing the company to build a highway connecting Brazil with the Peruvian coast. Toledo is supposedly in Paris and has denied the charges [AP report].
In the last several years Peru has been plagued with corruption scandals involving their presidents and leaders. Toledo was elected President in 2001 and was the country’s first native president. His administration was marked with allegations of voter fraud and indictments against former heads of staff and agencies [BBC profile]. In July Alberto Fujimori, Peru’s former leader who was jailed in 2007, submitted an additional request for a presidential pardon [JURIST report] after all previous petitions were denied. Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted in 2009 of committing human rights abuses during his 1990-2000 rule [JURIST report].