Peruvian vice president resigns amid corruption probe

LIMA, Peru – Peru’s Vice President Omar Chehade, once seen as a close ally of President Ollanta Humala, has resigned over a probe into an alleged influence-peddling scheme.

Chehade, one of two Peruvian vice presidents, took the decision “with the goal of not causing prejudice to the good image of government,” according to his letter of resignation released by Congress on Jan. 17.

Chehade, 41, had been under investigation for allegedly using his influence to help the powerful Wong agricultural business conglomerate.

He denied charges that he met in October with three Peruvian police generals to discuss removing striking workers from a sugar cooperative to clear the way for Wong to take it over. However, he did admit to political “inexperience.”

A lawyer who is also a member of Congress, Chehade held the largely ceremonial job of second vice president for three months before resigning.

Chehade made his name as an anti-corruption prosecutor and in helping extradite former president Alberto Fujimori from Chile to stand trial.

[AFP, 18/01/2012; Radionacional.com.pe (Peru), 18/01/2012]

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