Peruvian chess coach admits then denies sexual harassment claims

Six-time national Peruvian chess champion Ingrid Aliaga says she was sexually harassed by team manager Dorges Heredia in early March (Canal N, video in Spanish).

“I have suffered sexual harassment from the Chess Federation coach, Dorges Heredia,” Aliaga said. “What happened was that when we were training he approached me, he told me I was pretty, he insinuated me and I told him not to take advantage.”

After receiving Aliaga’s first claims, Peruvian chess federation (FDPA) President Boris Ascue said she was “disqualified” to present such accusations.

However, after a seven-minute audio recording of Heredia’s confession and other players’ confirmations emerged, Ascue finally banned the manager from training sessions (El País, in Spanish). On September 3, Heredia published an open latter on his Facebook page – and also in the FDPA’s – firmly denying all allegations.

FDPA President Ascue argues Aliaga was excluded from the national team because she played only a few tournaments in 2018 and finished sixth in the national championships. Aliaga said her poor performance was because “he [Ascue] did not register me for several tournaments I wanted to take part in.”

“The Peruvian championship took place only a few days after the harassment, when I was very affected psychologically,” Aliaga told El Pais. “For that same reason I did not file any official complaint till May, because I did not dare do it. But now I encourage all athletes affected by similar cases in any country in the world to not be afraid to denounce.”

scue was sentenced to two three-year prison terms in 2005 and 2007 for illegal appropriation, a two-year sentence for negligent homicide and an array of different charges (Elco Mercio). According to the Superior Council of Sports Justice’s first cause of disqualification, such convictions should negate his capability to hold public office.

In 2016, the most notable Peruvian chess player, grandmaster and four-time champion of the Americas, Julio Granda, denounced the sustained abuse from FDPA and renounced his representation Peru in official competitions.

Asked about the Aliaga case, Granda said “a person who is not even qualified to be a candidate has been allowed to reach the [FDPA] presidency, with the complicity of the competent organizations,” indirectly pointing at the responsibility of governing body Peruvian Institute of Sport (IPD). (El País, in Spanish)

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