Lima, Peru — Fray Vásquez Castillo, a nephew of Peru’s former President Pedro Castillo, surrendered to police on January 29 after being on the run since March 2022.
Vásquez Castillo is being investigated by the Public Ministry for alleged influence peddling, collusion, and being part of a criminal ring allegedly led by his uncle, President Castillo. He surrendered in the southeastern Puno region and was later sent to the Miguel Castro Castro prison where he must serve 24 months of pretrial detention.
“In Puno, the Special Team of Prosecutors against Corruption of Power, composed of prosecutors and police officers, managed to secure the surrender of the suspect,” said the Public Ministry on their X account.
Since April 2023, Vásquez had reportedly been coordinating his surrender with authorities, according to newspaper El Comercio.
Pedro Castillo’s nephew went into hiding while his uncle was still president.
The former president is currently serving pre-trial detention related to his December 2022 attempt to dissolve congress and rule by decree as well as alleged corruption charges. Castillo has denied the accusations in both cases.
Who is Fray Vásquez?
Fray Vásquez served as a bodyguard for Pedro Castillo during his presidential campaign. According to the Public Ministry, during his uncle’s presidency he was involved in the appointments of the Ministries of Transport and Housing, which have the largest state budgets.
Vásquez is accused of using his proximity to high-ranking government officials to gain advantages in public bidding processes. In return for his political services, Vásquez allegedly received gifts, including leases on apartments, vehicles, and money.
Pedro Castillo called on fugitives from his government to surrender to justice
Two days before Vásquez surrendered, former President Castillo urged fugitives from his government to turn themselves in to face investigations by the Public Ministry.
“After more than a year of enduring abusive imprisonment, they have not been able to prove the charges against me. Therefore, I ask those who are in hiding to face the investigations of the Public Ministry without fear because the truth will set us free,” he wrote on his X account.
In addition to Vásquez, other individuals linked to Castillo have escaped justice and remain in hiding. Among them is the former Minister of Transport and Communications Juan Silva, who is wanted on corruption charges. Also, the leader of Perú Libre (the political party that brought Castillo to the presidency), Vladimir Cerrón, is on the run, and his whereabouts are unknown after being sentenced to three years and six months in prison on October 7, 2023.