Peruvian President Pedro Castillo said Sunday that prosecutors are taking steps to “tie up” his family, including his wife Lilia Paredes, over alleged corruption charges he adamantly denies.
Speaking at a political rally in the town of Andahuaylas, in the southern department of Apurímac, the president said they want to “break” him, but his opponents do not know that he and his family come “from hardship, from below, from suffering.”
“I know they are going to take my wife, they want to put her in chains, and they want to put the rest of my family in chains,” said the head of state, whose sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes, is in custody, waiting for the judiciary to decide whether to extend her pretrial detention.
Castillo promised that in the face of this situation, which has plunged his government into a constant political crisis in recent months, he would “resist” until the people asked him to do so and that they would not “break” him.
At the same time, he pointed out that some political figures spend their time “claiming they belong to the people” and who enrich themselves unlawfully, which is why he asked for help to “identify and punish them.”
“We have not given them space and support to enter a ministry in the name of Pedro Castillo to make a profit for their own pockets,” said the Peruvian president.
The investigation launched by Peruvian prosecutor Patricia Benavides against Castillo on various charges, which include accusations of criminal association, has plunged Peru into a political crisis.
His entourage is also affected by the new corruption allegations, including his wife, Lilia Paredes, and sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes. They grew up as the daughter of the presidential couple and turned herself in to prosecutors on Aug. 10 as part of the investigation against him.
According to prosecutors, the first lady, Lilia Paredes, allegedly coordinated a criminal network “with the knowledge and permission of her husband,” Pedro Castillo, to direct public works through the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation.
Paredes went to the prosecutor’s office on July 8 to testify as a witness in the corruption case at the Housing Ministry that initially implicated her sister.
Castillo said last Friday that his wife would respond appropriately to the investigation and that she was “ready to hand over her passport to prove that she will not leave the country at any time.”
“Surely they want to file a motion to prevent my wife from leaving the country?” the president asked, guaranteeing that she would “submit” to justice to “prove her innocence.”