Peru: analysis of ban against first lady postponed

LIMA (HPD) — A Peruvian magistrate postponed until Wednesday an evaluation on whether to prohibit the wife of President Pedro Castillo from traveling outside the country.

Judge Raúl Justiniano indicated on Monday that in 48 hours he will continue examining the prosecution’s request despite the fact that the president’s wife, Lilia Paredes, has not yet been formally charged. This is the first time in local history that a prosecutor asks to prohibit the departure of a first lady from Peru.

The prosecution affirms that Paredes could escape due to the serious accusations, but the defense of the first lady denies such affirmation. The prosecution wants the judge to impose a ban on leaving Peru for three years.

Last week the opposition-dominated Congress also denied the president a permit to visit Europe that included a private audience with Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s secretary of state. It is the second time that Parliament has denied a travel permit to the president. The first was in August when he did not authorize him to travel to Colombia to attend the inauguration of President Gustavo Petro.

In both refusals, the parliamentarians affirmed that there is a risk of the president fleeing. However, Castillo traveled with his wife to New York in September to participate in the United Nations General Assembly and both returned without problems.

Under Peruvian law, Congress decides whether or not a president can leave the country on an official visit.

Based on the testimonies of would-be informants, the prosecution has outlined the alleged existence of a criminal organization to launder assets allegedly directed by the president in which the first lady would be the coordinator, while other relatives of Paredes would be members.

The prosecution affirms that Castillo and his relatives took advantage of their contacts to receive money in exchange for delivering to public works. That claim has yet to be proven.

Castillo and his wife deny all the accusations. The president has governed for a year and his mandate will end in 2026.

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