I’m Here To Kick Ass And Chew Bubblegum… And I’m All Out Of Peruvian Presidential Jail Cells

Liam Fegan
Liam Fegan
Lockheed Martin Financial Analyst since June of 2018. If you want a better life, raise your standards and don't compromise them.

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Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, who has been living in the United States since he left office in 2006, is facing extradition after being charged with corruption by his home country. The decision by the US State Department to authorize his extradition has raised concerns about where he will be housed upon his return, given that a special prison built for former presidents has already run out of space. The Barbadillo jail on the outskirts of Lima, where former presidents Alberto Fujimori and Pedro Castillo are currently held, has only a two-person capacity according to documents published by prison authority INPE. With Toledo’s imminent arrival, adding a third presidential inmate would tip the limit, highlighting the unrivaled levels of corruption among Peruvian leaders.

Via Bloomberg, every president of Peru since 1990 has either served time in prison, is presently serving time in prison, or has received a detention order. Ollanta Humala, who served as president from 2011 to 2016, was apprehended in Barbadillo on suspicion of having his presidential campaign improperly funded by Odebrecht, a Brazillian company connected to Peruvian constructions. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, the former president, was jailed in 2019 on alleged connections to the same builder but was ultimately placed under house arrest because of health concerns. In addition, former president Alan Garcia, who held office from 2006 to 2011 and from 1985 to 1990, respectively, for two separate terms, committed suicide after receiving a formal warrant of arrest informing him that he would be imprisoned.

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States in 2019, following Peru’s formal extradition request. According to Peruvian authorities, Toledo accepted bribes of over $25 million from Odebrecht in exchange for his help in securing public works contracts. Toledo governed Peru from 2001 to 2006 and has denied receiving any bribes, and as of August 2022, he lived in California following his release from prison on bail in 2020. He has not been charged with any crime in the United States. In August 2021, the US Department of Justice announced it would return $686,000 seized from Toledo to Peru. Brooklyn federal prosecutors allege that Odebrecht paid Toledo $25 million in bribes for highway construction contracts. While a US judge approved Toledo’s extradition, the final decision rested with the State Department.

Additionally, a Peruvian prosecutor has requested a prison sentence that spans 20 years and 6 months due to alleged conduct by Toledo in his involvement in the construction of two sections of a highway connecting southern Peru with Brazil.