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Peru Congress endorses drug corruption probe

June 20, 2014

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru’s Congress has endorsed a special commission’s findings that former President Alan Garcia broke the law by pardoning or reducing the sentences of more than 3,200 convicted drug traffickers.

The 53-to-7 vote on Thursday with seven abstentions sends the case to two small committees that will decide whether Garcia should face criminal prosecution and/or be barred from politics.

Although he has not stated his intentions, many believe Garcia wants to run for president in 2016. He has served two terms, most recently from 2006-2011.

Commission head Rep. Sergio Tejada said Friday the evidence includes letters Garcia wrote to convicted traffickers inviting them to seek pardons or commutations. He said the commission determined that 400 of the beneficiaries belonged to major drug-trafficking organizations.

Garcia denies the accusations, calling them political vengeance.