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Peruvian villagers demand justice, set court files on fire

Peruvian villagers demand justice, set court files on fire



Demonstrators protest against corruption at San Martin plaza, in Lima, Peru, Thursday, July 19, 2018. The latest scandal to embroil this South American nation has ensnared some of the country’s highest-ranking judges and political officials and comes just four months after then-President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stepped down in a separate corruption probe. (Martin Mejia/Associated Press)

LIMA, Peru — Hundreds of villagers in Peru’s remote Sihuas province broke into offices of the local prosecutor and court Friday, destroying thousands of criminal case files to protest corruption in the judicial system, authorities said.

The demonstration played out as Pedro Gonzalo Chavarry was being sworn in as Peru’s attorney general amid a mounting scandal.

Recently released audio recordings appear to reveal Chavarry making a secret deal with a disgraced supreme court judge.

Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva urged Chavarry to step down, saying the nation deserves a chief prosecutor who is clear of suspicion.

Chavarry, who was appointed by a panel of prosecutors, rejected the criticism as unfair treatment in the media.

Other judges and top judicial officials have fallen from power in a scandal set off by the release of secret phone recordings that capture numerous judges making behind-the-scenes deals on everything from promotions to criminal sentences.

Responding to the scandal, congress approved on Friday evening the expulsion of seven members of a powerful commission that is in charge of selecting judges and holding them accountable.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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