The Peruvian Congress unanimously ruled on Friday (16) that former President Martín Vizcarra was banned from holding public office for ten years in response to accusations that he had skipped the vaccination line against Covid-19.
By 86 votes to zero – six more than what was needed to approve the measure – members of Congress even decided that Vizcarra will not be able to occupy the seat in Parliament which he won with more than 165,000 votes in the legislative elections. from last Sunday (11).
For Congress, the ex-president is guilty of influence peddling, collusion and lying in his statements about the vaccine scandal that he, his family and senior officials received before the deadline set by the officials. country vaccination campaigns.
Even before the vote, Vizcarra criticized the process on social media. “Congress incurs the crime of abuse of power by continuing the session without allowing me to exercise my right of defense, by violating due process. Congress is not above the constitution,” he said. he writes on Twitter.
In February, when the ‘vip vaccines’ case came to light through reports in the Peruvian press, Vizcarra admitted to having received doses of the immunizer produced by Sinopharm in October 2020, weeks before his revocation of the presidency accordingly. of a trial.
In his defense, however, the ex-president claims he, his wife and brother were vaccinated ahead of the official schedule – the vaccine was not officially approved until December – because they were volunteers in trials. clinics organized by the university responsible for testing the vaccine in the country.
The institution denied the involvement of Vizcarra and his family in the rehearsal program. According to the Peruvian press, the number of government workers vaccinated in secret could be much higher, because in addition to the experimental doses used in the studies, Sinopharm provided 2,000 other “courtesy vaccines” to trial managers and members. of the government.
At the summit, two ministers admitted to having skipped the vaccination line. Pilar Mazzetti (Health) and Elizabeth Astete (Foreign Affairs) resigned from their posts in February, following the disclosure of the irregularities. This Friday, they were also barred by Congress from taking public office; Astete for one year and Mazzetti for eight years.
The prosecution has opened an investigation into the vaccine scandal, but has yet to come to a conclusion. Vizcarra is also the target of a corruption investigation while he was governor of the region of Moguegua, in the south of the country, from 2011 to 2014.
As part of the charge, prosecutors requested the pre-trial detention of the former president. The court ruled that the request was unfounded, but prohibited Vizcarra from leaving Lima without permission and imposed a sort of fine equivalent to around R $ 150,000.
Vizcarra was removed from the Peruvian presidency in November 2020, after an impeachment process – the second that targeted him – sparked by the publication of tapes in which he appears to ask assistants to lie in an investigation into his relationship with an elder collaborater.
He was also accused of having received bribes, which would place him in the category of “moral incapacity”, preventing him from continuing to exercise his functions.