The Government appoints new chiefs in command, General Staff and inspectorate, days after requesting the dismissal of Colonel Harvey Colchado.
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President Castillo and the Minister of the Interior, Willy Huerta, signed the resolutions of the changes. Experts describe the moves as strange and negative for the institution. Photo: Presidency./
The government of Pedro Castillo suspiciously and surprisingly changed the heads of three key positions in the high command of the National Police of Peru (PNP). The resolutions, published this Saturday in “El Peruano”, bear the signature of the president and the Minister of the Interior, Willy Huerta.
PNP Lieutenant General Luis Alberto Vera Llerena, who had assumed the General Command of the institution just three months ago, was retired and his designation terminated. In his place enters the lieutenant general of the PNP Raúl Enrique Alfaro Alvarado, who since May of this year has served as inspector general.
In addition, Vicente Marcelo Álvarez Moreno was appointed chief of the General Staff and promoted to the rank of lieutenant general of the PNP. Meanwhile, the PNP General Inspectorate is assumed by Segundo Leoncio Mejía Montenegro, who was also promoted to lieutenant general.
Statements by Benji Espinoza on rescheduling the reading of the preventive detention order against Yenifer Paredes and José Medina. (Video: RPP TV)
These changes, especially the last one, occur a few days after the head of state, through his lawyer Eduardo Pachas, filed a complaint with the inspectorate against Colonel PNP Harvey Colchado, head of the PNP Special Team.
Explicitly, the president requests that this officer retire for an alleged serious offense by having “violated the immunity” of the President of the Republic on August 9 . That day, Colchado participated in the proceedings at the Government Palace residence to comply with a preliminary arrest warrant against Yenifer Paredes Navarro, sister of the first lady.
The new inspector, Segundo Mejía Montenegro, is like the natural president of the province of Chota (Cajamarca) and very close to him , according to sources from El Comercio. His resume also brings together controversial background.< p>
Raúl Alfaro Alvarado is the new Commander General of the National Police of Peru and Vicente Álvarez Moreno was appointed as the new Chief of Staff of the PNP. (Photo: @PoliciaPeru/GEC File)
He was head of Security at the Garcilaso de la Vega University in the management of Luis Cervantes Liñán. However, these functions were fulfilled during working hours and, therefore, along with other questions, he was retired on December 31, 2014, add the same sources. An amparo action reinstated him as a colonel. In June of this year he was appointed National Director of Criminal Investigation.
Former PNP Commander General Javier Gallardo, one of those responsible for the crisis experienced in the interior sector at the beginning of the year, had proposed Mejía as the new anti-corruption director. Given the refusal of the then Minister of the Interior Avelino Guillén, he tried to place him in the Money Laundering Directorate, but that did not materialize either.
Other sources reported that Mejía had to coordinate the intelligence areas to face the search for Bruno Pacheco and former Minister Juan Silva, persons trusted by Castillo, before former Minister Mariano González formed a special team. According to what they reported, today the inspector took vacations and thus avoided that responsibility.
Statements by the prosecutor Marita Barreto on the delay in reading the ruling on preventive detention against Yenifer Paredes, sister-in-law of President Pedro Castillo, and the mayor of Anguía, José Medina Guerrero. (Video: RPP TV)
On the other hand, the new chief of the General Staff was pointed out in 2018 by the prosecution as being one of the leaders of the so-called Squad of death. Other police officers were also involved in this group, which simulated confrontations and murdered alleged criminals.
Former Interior Minister Rubén Vargas told El Comercio that these changes are in line with the president's interest in controlling the high command of the PNP and an attack to remove Colonel Colchado from the special team, which supports investigations by the Public Ministry. .
“The true intention that Pedro Castillo has regarding the management of the PNP is revealed: to co-opt it for his personal interests, try to control the investigations and abandon the obligation he has to provide security to Peruvians,” he commented. He added that, although the president as supreme head of the PNP has the power to appoint the commander general, he considered that this attribution in the current context “is tainted.”
The criminologist Nicolás Zevallos, former Vice Minister of Public Security of the Ministry of Inter, declared to this newspaper that two edges should be seen in these changes.
“From the institutional , is a problem for the management of the PNP, since so many changes make it impossible to trace a sustained and long-term line of work. […] From the political point of view, it is necessary that explanations be given about the need and relevance of these changes in the judicial context that they face in the Executive, “he explained.
Interior Minister Willy Huerta has been summoned by the Congressional Defense Commission. He must respond this Monday 29, at 9 a.m., about the changes in the PNP.
#Pronunciamiento Constantes cambios en el sector Interior @MininterPeru y en la @PoliciaPeru afectan lucha contra la criminalidad y la institucionalidad policial 👉https://t.co/A8xEDgp6uj#SeguridadCiudadana pic.twitter.com/Oo5Ru3AYfq
— Defensoría Perú (@Defensoria_Peru) August 27, 2022
On Saturday, the Ombudsman's Office issued a statement in which it asks the Executive that the changes “follow due process and do not exceed the limit of its due powers.”
The president of Congress, Lady Camones, wrote on Twitter that the president “incurs in a new act of abuse of power” and would demonstrate obstruction.
For his part, the Deputy Minister of Internal Order, Abel Gamarra, assured on Saturday that the changes are not related to the complaint against Harvey Colchado.