Peru: suspected of influence peddling, Prime Minister Alberto Otarola resigns

New twist at the heart of Peruvian politics

Peru: suspected of influence peddling, Prime Minister Alberto Otarola resigns

New twist at the heart of Peruvian politics. The Prime Minister, Alberto Otarola, suspected of influence peddling, announced his resignation on Tuesday March 5.

In audio recordings broadcast over the weekend on the Panamericana Television show Panorama, Mr. Otarola speaks lovingly with a 25-year-old woman, Yazire Pinedo, who this year obtained two employment contracts , worth a total of some €13,000, to carry out archiving and administrative work for the government.

“Tell me, then, my love, so we can talk,” a voice believed to be Mr. Otarola’s is heard. “You know these things are boring, they're painful, but you also know I love you,” seemingly referring to the red tape involved in securing these contracts.

“During a conversation with the President of the Republic [Dina Boluarte], I announced my decision to resign,” declared Tuesday at a press conference, Mr. Otarola, 57, who assured , in a message posted on his X account, having taken this decision “in order to reassure the president and reshuffle the cabinet”.

“I continue to serve the country, as I have done throughout my professional life,” he added.

An open investigation

Mr. Otarola, who has attributed the revelation of the recordings to his political opponents, has denied any violation of Peruvian labor laws or other wrongdoing. “I will of course submit to all investigations, but the opinion of the experts will be absolutely clear about the crude way in which these recordings were edited and presented to the public,” he added at the press conference. Monday, on

On Tuesday, Ms Pinedo claimed the leaked conversations dated back to 2021, before he was minister, and admitted to having had a brief “perhaps romantic relationship” with him.

The prosecutor's office announced the opening of an investigation into influence peddling. The opposition parties unanimously demanded the resignation of Mr. Otarola, 57, married and father of five children, in office since December 2022.

In a country marked by strong governmental instability, no “president of the council of ministers” had had such a long mandate since that of Pedro Cateriano who remained in office for almost a year and four months between April 2015 and July 2016.