Peru has been experiencing a situation of maximum tension since the second round of the presidential elections, held on June 6. Four days later, society is polarized and the count, very even, is not over yet. The candidate Pedro Castillo has a slight advantage; her rival, the conservative Keiko Fujimori, has denounced electoral fraud without evidence and has asked that thousands of votes in favor of Castillo be annulled; And now the Prosecutor’s Office has increased the tension even more by asking the judge to order provisional detention against Fujimori for a case that is open.
In the document sent to the judge in the Lava Jato case, prosecutor José Domingo Pérez maintains that the conservative presidential candidate has breached the legal rules imposed while she is being investigated for a crime of money laundering, such as communicating with witnesses linked to the case of alleged illegal funding of his 2011 and 2016 campaigns.
“It has been determined once again that the defendant Fujimori Higuchi fails to comply with the restriction of not communicating with the witnesses; therefore, it has been noted as a public and well-known fact that she communicates with the witness Miguel Torres Morales,” the text maintains.
Specifically, the prosecutor cites the press conference held this Wednesday in which the lawyer Torres appeared as a spokesman for Fuerza Popular and in which an alleged electoral fraud in favor of Castillo was denounced without evidence. The prosecutor’s document includes screenshots of the press conference. During the ceremony, the candidate asked the electoral authorities to annul 802 voting records, which represent some 200,000 votes, under accusations of irregularities and “table fraud.”
Fujimori faces a request from the Prosecutor’s Office for more than 30 years in prison for alleged money laundering in the financing of her previous electoral campaigns, a trial that would avoid being elected.
The conservative candidate led the count for much of the scrutiny, but later Castillo was in the lead and currently continues to maintain her advantage. According to the latest data, with 99% scrutinized, Pedro Castillo has 8,795,440 votes (50.2%) and Keiko Fujimori, 8,725,388 (49.8%). The difference between the two candidates is just over 70,000 votes
The complaint of the alleged “systematic fraud” was already launched by Fujimori on Monday night, when the scrutiny pointed to Castillo as the winner. That day, the candidate presented “indications”, mostly collected from social networks and ‘fake news’ without further support to refute the preliminary reports of the electoral missions of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore), who highlighted the correctness of the elections.
Meanwhile, thousands of Fujimori supporters have demonstrated in Lima to “defend the vote,” while some of his voters began to request the intervention of the armed forces on social media and prevent Castillo from being officially proclaimed president.
Faced with this movement, the Ministry of Defense has recalled in a statement that “the Armed Forces are not deliberative and are subordinate to the constitutional power, so any call to breach this person in charge is inappropriate for a democracy.”
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva congratulated Pedro Castillo on Thursday and pointed out that his “victory” is a “breakthrough in the popular struggle” in Latin America. “I want to congratulate Pedro Castillo for the important victory in Peru and salute the Peruvian people for the free and democratic elections. The result of the Peruvian polls is symbolic and represents one more advance in the popular struggle in our beloved Latin America,” said Lula.
For his part, the far-right president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has expressed himself in the opposite direction: “We are now losing Peru. I ask for a miracle to reverse it” and that “the Sao Paulo Forum” does not return to that country, which It groups together parties of the Latin American left, declared the leader of the Brazilian far right in a ceremony with evangelical pastors, who are part of his political base.