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Ruling Party Denies Links to Peru Corruption Case

Lima, Feb 23 (Prensa Latina) The ruling party, Peru Libre (PL), today denied any connection with a network of corruption discovered in the central Andean city of Huancayo, cradle of the organization by which President Pedro Castillo was elected.

The LP Committee of Junín, a region of which Huancayo is the capital, argued that its militant and former mayor of the city, Carlos Quispe, denounced the existence of mafias that extorted merchants, which the discovered organization carried out.

He asserted that none of the five detainees -among them the current mayor of Huancayo, Henry López- is a member of the party and thus denied the assertion of the prosecutor in charge of the case, Bonnie Bautista, that it is a network of Peru Libre and supplied to this the money obtained.

The party, whose candidate was current president Pedro Castillo, also warned about the possibility that attributing links to the denounced corrupt network is the product of the intention to discredit the organization.

Prosecutor Bautista reported that the arrests were made in the early hours of yesterday in an operation involving 23 prosecutors and 150 police officers who raided 23 buildings, and that 13 people are still to be captured.

The judicial official is also in charge of investigations and accusations of alleged corruption against the secretary general of Peru Libre, Vladimir Cerrón, and yesterday’s operation took place two days before a sentence was issued against the leader for embezzlement of funds from the government, when he was governor.

The accusation is due to the use of funds intended for a reforestation project, declared technically unfeasible, to another of greater utility, according to Cerrón, who declares himself the object of judicial persecution for political purposes.

The charges against him, such as the recently discovered network, are the subject of great prominence in the press that is adverse to the Government, in which three PL ministers participate.