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Peru: new scandal hits highest body of the judiciary. Bishops call for clarity and “structural reforms”

Mons. Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte

The institutional and political life in Peru has been rocked by a new scandal: recordings leaked to the press speak of corruption cases, influence peddling and alleged pressure on ongoing investigations involving two judges and three members of the National Council of the Magistracy (CNM), the highest judicial body in Peru. The Peruvian Bishops’ Conference (CEP), through its president, Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte of Trujillo, released a statement yesterday to express its stance on the controversy. “Given our shared moral and institutional responsibility, and out of respect for good magistrates – the Bishops wrote, indicating they were speaking as pastors and citizens -, we all have a right to know if what is revealed in the recordings about the members of the National Council of the Magistracy and the judicial power is an exception or is what generally happens in our judicial system”. According to the Presidency of the CEP, “this is not about reporting one magistrate or another, but about protecting our country’s institutions and moral legacy. If we do not shed light on the facts, our citizens will lose confidence in and respect for the judiciary and its institutions, with disastrous consequences for the democratic life of our country”. For the Bishops, “the current situation requires structural changes that citizens have been waiting for for decades. There is a need to ensure that the members of the CNM are sound and indisputable professionals, and also to improve the selection process of judges and public prosecutors”. In this context, “we support the proposals for the reform of the judiciary and, in particular, the proposal of the President of the Republic. The Church will always be willing to collaborate for the good of the country”. The document was directly delivered, in the late afternoon, to the President of the Republic, Martín Vizcarra Cornejo, at a meeting at the Government Palace with the president of the CEP and two Peruvian cardinals, Luis Cipriani Thorne and Pedro Barreto Jimeno.

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Quotidiano - Italiano