Bloomberg News

Peru Committee Votes to Suspend Vice President Amid Graft Probe

November 15, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- A Peruvian congressional committee voted to suspend Vice President Omar Chehade for 120 days abusing his office to help a company gain control of a sugar farm.

The ethics committee said today they have evidence Chehade, a first-term congressman and one of President Ollanta Humala’s two vice presidents, sought to organize a police operation to evict workers occupying the Andahuasi sugar estate.

A sub-committee on constitutional accusations will assess whether to strip Chehade of his parliamentary immunity and pass the case to the attorney’s general’s office.

Though Chehade says he’s innocent and has resisted calls from his party to resign as vice president, he requested Nov. 8 a temporary leave of absence from his post while he’s investigated.

Humala’s approval rating has fallen since the allegations against Chehade, his former lawyer, emerged. Humala, who took office in July after pledging to root out corruption in Peru’s political and judicial system, had a 57 percent approval rating in a Nov. 4 to Nov. 7 poll by Datum Internacional, down from 66 percent a month earlier.

--Editor: Robert Jameson

To contact the reporter on this story: John Quigley in Lima at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at

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