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Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Peru lifts lid on corruption
Anti-Fujimori protestors
Peruvians are angry about the Fujimori era
A congressional commission in Peru has implicated 180 people, including the new armed forces chief, in corruption scandals that took place during the rule of disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori.

The appointment in April of Miguel Medina as head of the armed forces was designed to signal a fresh start after many of Mr Fujimori's military leaders were discredited because of links to his intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.

Now correspondents say his position apears to be untenable.

Miguel Medina
Medina: "Fresh start"
Mr Montesinos fled Peru last year after a video showed him trying to buy an opposition politician's support for $15,000. Other videos showing him in similar circumstances with senior political figures have since come to light.

The congressional commission's report also implicates several of Mr Fujimori's former ministers.

It claims to have found evidence of corruption, illegal enrichment, as well as trafficking of drugs and arms - and recommends that charges be brought against those named.

The findings were announced on Wednesday by commission president, David Waissman, who was elected as Peru's vice-president in the June elections which saw Alejandro Toledo win the presidency.

Fighter plane deal

Mr Waissman said Mr Medina was implicated in irregularities surrounding the purchase of three Russian Mig-29 fighter planes when he was commander of Peru's air force.

According to Mr Waissman, Mr Medina informed the air force the planes were new when in fact they were not. The deal was apparently full of irregularities and saw middlemen take a cut of about $80m.

People suspected of belonging to the alleged Montesinos corruption network have even found their way into a video game. The aim of the game is to shoot at those people believed to be involved.

Martha Chavez, a congresswoman who is portrayed as a witch on a broomstick in the game, has threatened to sue its producers.

She says she does not understand why she appears in the game as she had nothing to do with the scandal.

Fujimori's downfall

The denouement to the corruption scandal was played out last autumn. After the incriminating video tape of Mr Montesinos came to light last September, Mr Fujimori quickly called new elections in which he announced he would not stand.

But after his intelligence chief left the country later that month, it became clear that Mr Fujimori, who seemed unable to arrest Mr Montesinos, was not in full control.

In mid-November the opposition won command of Congress for the first time in eight years and Mr Fujimori indefinitely extended a trip to Japan - the country of his parents' birth.

Mr Fujimori, who has been accused of hiding millions of dollars in overseas bank accounts, denies any involvement in the corruption scandal. But he says he will not return to Peru until his name is cleared.

This fresh scandal is likely to make that possibility even more remote.

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See also:

05 Jun 01 | Americas
Toledo wins power in Peru
04 Jun 01 | Americas
Analysis: No honeymoon for Toledo
30 May 01 | Americas
Peru elections cannot erase past
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