LIMA — Hundreds of Peruvians marched yesterday demanding judicial reform after audio recordings emerged bringing to light alleged corruption among judges and members of the country’s body in charge of appointing magistrates.
"Get out criminal gang; get out corrupt judges; get out rats!," read placards belonging to workers and students in the San Martin Plaza, close to the Government Palace in Lima.
The protests were sparked by the release of scandalous audio recordings between Sunday and yesterday -- in which judges and members of the National Council of Magistrates appeared to offer reduced sentences, ask for favors or set rates for improper actions.
According to President Martin Vizcarra, the recordings revealed "not only the enormous degree of immorality with which those called upon to impart justice act, but also the existence of mechanisms and vices that pervert the administration of justice and that must be eradicated."
He urged the opposition-controlled Congress that there was "no time to lose" to address what he called a "structural problem."
"We have called on Peruvians to protest because we cannot allow any more corruption," said Jorge Bracamonte, executive secretary of the Peruvian Coordinator of Human Rights.
He added the protest’s goal was "to demand from the executive and judicial branches significant reform of the justice system in the country."
"We have all felt shame over what we have heard, it proves the critical situation that the judiciary is in," was the reaction, meanwhile, of Pedro Cateriano, former president of Peru’s Council of Ministers under Ollanta Humala (2011-2016), who attended the march along with former culture minister Diana Alvarez Calderon. — AFP