In this interview, Attorney Javier Pacheco explains what are the elements that must be taken into account -and that arouse suspicion- in the investigation against Yenifer Paredes, sister-in-law of President Pedro Castillo, for alleged influence peddling and his links with the Espino businessmen. The case, the prosecutor believes, is similar to that of the tarot club.
What are the most important elements in the Yenifer Paredes case?
At the time of making the inquiries, the first fact indicated is the presentation made by Mrs. Yenifer Paredes with the representatives of this company JJM Engineering & Construction. That is the first fact. The second fact is that it should be investigated if JJMIC (Hugo Espino’s company) wins the good pro in Cajatambo for more than S / 3 million. This is running and the process needs to be verified.
In addition, there are other services of this company in Lircay, in the Municipality of Angaraes, and in the Agrarian University of La Molina; all of these in 2019. While the third fact is the link that has Walls with Estefany Espino Lucana, who represents the company Destcon Ingenieros y Arquitectos, which in December 2021 was awarded a work in this government for S / 3,900,000. Those are the three facts that are proposed to be investigated.
The Prosecutor’s Office has summoned the first lady Lilia Paredes and her sister Yenifer Paredes. From what part of the process will the Attorney General accompany these inquiries?
We know that an investigation was opened by Dr. Juan Peña. However, he opened an investigation and set the stage, and once we were notified we began to act. I understand that the prosecutor is doing the necessary preliminary diligence. We are waiting for you to notify us so that, once this happens, we can appear in person at the process and make an extension of the complaint, if these facts are not considered, like others that we have already found.
When you refer to expanding the complaint, right now the investigation is for influence peddling, are you referring to other alleged crimes?
When we expand the investigation for us it is to expand facts.
With the fact linked to what has happened in the province of Chadín, If I’m not mistaken, on September 17, 2021. And especially the visits that have been made to the Government Palace.
Have you already taken action on this sanitation work that Mrs. Yenifer Paredes offers in Cajamarca?
We are doing the respective verification, so much so that we verify that there are seven sanitation projects in the Municipality of Chadín and that this service would have already been executed for the amount of S/170,000 in 2019. If the work has already been carried out, then what were they going to do?
In other words, they offered something that has already been executed.
The only possibility that this new investment is made is that the previous ones were not executed or were executed poorly. or were not suitable for the needs of the population. Once we fully consolidate the matter of what is going to be built, I understand that during the course of the day we will send it in writing to the Ministry of Housing to see if there was any preparatory act and distribution of the budget to this municipality.
Within this research, is the Ministry of Housing also included?
Yes of course. Let us not forget that on September 6, This Mr. Espino met directly with the minister (Geiner Alvarado) and the meeting lasted exactly one hour and 48 minutes. Then, we will have to see his conversation with the minister.
What feeling does it leave you that a person, who is the president’s sister-in-law, goes with a vest from a private company to offer works from a company that belongs to someone who has visited the Palace up to five times?
More than the sensation, what it generates in us, because of the function I have is to propose research hypotheses. So, until now, the hypothesis that has been raised is that there would probably be the commission of the crime of influence peddling. We are looking at the information. We are seeing if this company (JJM, by Hugo Espino) would be linked, mechanically, to the Tarot Club. What catches our attention is that this company has no experience and begins to operate from 2019 and the Tarot Club begins to occur from the government of Martín Vizcarra.
Until this moment it is not known if the work offered by Mrs. Yenifer Paredes was ever carried out. In that case, is the intention sanctioned or only the fait accompli?
Let’s see. I am going to read you the criminal type and that is important.
Several lawyers argue about this issue.
“He who by invoking or having influence promises any advantage or benefit or offers to intercede before a superior official who has to know, it will be punished with imprisonment for not less than four years. The issue of only making that offer, which will have to be proven.
So, for that the elements of investigation are coupled. What is clear to us here is that this person, Yenifer Paredes, is wearing the company’s vest and says that she is going to collect data for a project and then she points out that she is going to take it to the central government. So, let’s say, the fact alone would configure the criminal type.
And based on the crime investigated, you will see if there was any economic damage to the State.
That’s how it is. What we see here is also damage determination.
I know it’s a bit hasty to presume, but in this case, is the Attorney General asking for compensation from those involved?
We are as representatives of the aggrieved party, which is the State. Once the preparatory investigation is formalized, we will file the respective appeals to continue the investigation.