Uruguay rejects Peruvian ex-president asylum request

  1. García allegedly took kickbacks from construction giant Odebrecht during his second presidential term
  2. Brazilian company's web of corruption spans over at least 12 countries worldwide

President Tabaré Vázquez informed the Uruguayan government rejected the asylum request of former Peruvian president Alan García on Monday, 3 December.

By denying the asylum request the Government of Uruguay stated that Mr García was under investigation into administrative and economic issues that had nothing to do with political matters.

“In short, we have not granted the asylum request,” Vázquez said at a press conference held with Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa.

García took refuge in the Uruguayan consulate Tuesday, 20 November following a judge’s order to ban him from leaving the country for 18 months — as long as the probe into allegations that he received illegal payments from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht is in progress.

The former Peruvian president (1985-1990 and 2006-2011) left the diplomatic premises before the rejection of his request was publicly disclosed, apparently in a hired vehicle that entered the residence and left immediately, as seen on TV footage.

“I already have word from Carlos Barros [Uruguay ambassador in Lima] that he [Alan García] has already gone, that he has already left the embassy,” said Peruvian chancellor Néstor Popolizio after Vásquez’ announcement.

The APRA party former leader and long-time Peruvian politician denied charges via a press release that said, “I declare that there is no disclosure, proof or bank deposit that links me to any criminal act, let alone the Odebrecht company or any of the company’s works.”

Jose Ugaz, a former prosecutor who led several of the country’s highest-profile criminal probes, said that Uruguay’s denial of Garcia’s request bolsters the rule of law in Peru.

“This is a big blow to impunity and corruption,” Ugaz said in an interview.

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