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Peru: This is what you need to know about the referendum that was announced by Martín Vizcarra

After the scandal of the audios that were leaked by the Peruvian media IDL Reporters which uncovered a corruption scandal among high magistrates of the government, the president of the country announced a referendum that will seek to create an environment of legitimacy to the political and judicial institutions of Peru. According to El Tiempo, there are several points that will be sought to change with this new referendum supported by President Martín Vizcarra. Among these are the end of the re-election of magistrates, the creation of an anti-corruption prosecutor's office and a bicameral Congress, and tougher sanctions for all the judges who are involved in corruption scandals.

Leer en español: Perú: Esto es lo que tiene que saber sobre el referendo anunciado por Martín Vizcarra

According to the Peruvian newspaper La Tercera, this reform to justice would be very important, since it could speed up the removal processes of judges sprinkled in corruption scandals, also it makes it possible to be stricter with the procedure of the judges that will belong to the highest Peruvian courts. As the media puts it, there are other reforms that the government wants to achieve with the referendum, which have not had a greater coverage, but which are also important for the transparency of the institutions. The financing of political campaigns and the reelection of congressmen, for example.

"The system of administration of justice has collapsed and, as you know, this is not a problem of today, it is structural," was President Vizcarra's reaction to the corruption scandal in the courts. For this reason, explained El Tiempo, the Peruvian president supports this judicial reform. The Peruvian authorities estimated that the referendum would be held in October 2018.

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What happened in the audio scandal?

According to Radio France Internationale (RFI), IDL Reporters leaked several audios that accuse several magistrates of cheating and bribery with some of the richest people in the South American country. However, the Peruvians were outraged when they realized that one of the issues that were on the table were the perks for rapists of minors. The audios leaked by IDL Reporters revealed dozens of calls between judges and clients who requested reductions of sentences, links and even acquittals for criminals who committed child rapes, as revealed by Radio France Internationale.

However, this criminal network was not limited to the high courts. IDL Reporters revealed several audios where relations between judges, businessmen and employees of the Peruvian football association are exposed to get tickets to the National Team matches in the FIFA World Cup held in Russia. According to Radio France Internationale, IDL reporters' biggest complaint was coercion through threats to deliver the audios and their sources.

The media explained that the same authorities that are part of this corruption scandal tried to intimidate this organization of reporters through judicial threats if it did not deliver the audios. However, this organization was protected by international and Peruvian laws, so it was able to retain its sources and audios.

LatinAmerican Post | Miguel Díaz

Translated from "Perú: Esto es lo que tiene que saber sobre el referendo que fue anunciado por Martín Vizcarra"

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