Manuel Merino: in Congress they file a constitutional complaint for the deaths of Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado

Manuel Merino: in Congress they file a constitutional complaint for the deaths of Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado

With the casting vote of Rosio Torres, the congressional working group dismissed the case for the deaths of Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado.

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    Manuel Merino: in Congress they file a constitutional complaint for the deaths of Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado

    Manuel Merino was only a week as president before resigning. (Photo: Presidency archive)

    The Subcommittee on Constitutional Accusations of Congress archived this Friday with eight votes in favor, seven against and one abstention the complaint of the National Prosecutor's Office against former President Manuel Merino de Lama and two of his former ministers for the deaths of the young Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado, during the November 2020 protests.

    Initially, the vote resulted in a tie of seven to seven votes, so that the representative of the Alliance for Progress (APP) and president of the working group, Rosio Torres, used her casting vote, with which the balance tipped in favor of filing the case.

    The complaint was presented in October of last year by the then prosecutor of the Nation Zoraida Ávalos, so that the investigations of Merino, the former head of the Ministerial Cabinet Ántero Flores-Aráoz and the former head of the Interior Gastón Rodríguez could continue. All of them have the right of preliminary hearing, so the file must go through Parliament.

    This is how the subcommittee session went:

    Merino, Flores-Aráoz and Rodríguez were charged with the alleged crimes of homicide (by improper omission) , serious injuries and minor injuries, due to the demonstrations in which 78 people were also injured.

    The report that recommended filing the case was supported in the session by parliamentarian Alejandro Cavero, from Avanza País, delegate for this case, who during his presentation mentioned that the “unfortunate deaths” of the young people “were not the responsibility of the accused.” and that “police responsibility is not proven” either.

    Also present at the session were the Democratic Change congresswomen Ruth Luque and Sigrid Bazán, who had previously requested to participate, despite the fact that they are not part of the aforementioned subcommittee.

    Manuel Merino: in Congress they file constitutional complaint over the deaths of Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado

    The report was prepared by Congressman Alejandro Cavero. Photo: Congress/

    Cavero's presentation was followed by a brief debate in which only the legislators María Taipe (Free Peru), Segundo Quiroz (Bloc Magisterial), Edgard Reymundo (Democratic Change) and Martha Moyano (Popular Force) participated. The floor was also given to Luque and Bazán, who – like their bench colleague Reymundo – criticized the report.

    Bazán pointed out that in the document “the prosecutor's office is cited in some things, when it is convenient” and “in others it contradicts” the Public Ministry.

    In this regard, Cavero replied that all the evidence and witnesses were “provided by the prosecution itself in the complaint.”

    Manuel Merino: in Congress they file a constitutional complaint for the deaths of Inti Sotelo and Bryan Pintado

    President Pedro Castillo went to the Attorney General's Office to testify as part of investigations against him for alleged acts of corruption committed in tenders within the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC). (Video: Public Ministry)

    Congresswoman Moyano had a similar position: “The National Prosecutor, who is the one who accuses, has not summoned or requested, in any way, anyone on the part of the victims.”

    After knowing the result of the vote, Reymundo announced that he would file a request for reconsideration with the aim of reversing the decision.

    Questions

    In a dialogue with El Comercio, Percy Castillo, deputy for Human Rights of the Ombudsman's Office, expressed the institution's rejection of this decision, which “fails to comply with the duty to exhaustively investigate any violation of human rights.”< /p>

    Castillo added that “the Public Ministry and the Judiciary” are prevented from determining whether Merino de Lama and his ministers were responsible. The representative of the ombudsman also indicated that “Merino continues to be susceptible to other constitutional complaints being filed against him.”

    Meanwhile, the Congressman Luque, from Cambio Democrático, considered that, with its actions, the subcommittee perpetuates “the shielding and impunity” with a “regrettable vote” of its president Rosio Torres, “who in her role should take part in the investigation that allows her to to the prosecutor's office to deepen “. “Mr. Cavero has decided to be a prosecutor, judge and expert and has rejected evidence,” he added.

    This newspaper sought to contact Congressman Alejandro Cavero and with the parliamentarians who voted in favor of the report; however, as of press time, no response was received.

    This was the filed constitutional complaint:< /p>