Peru’s Public Ministry raided homes of two former prime ministers 

By April 4, 2023

Lima, Peru — Peru’s Public Ministry raided the homes of two former Prime Ministers of Pedro Castillo, Aníbal Torres and Betssy Chávez, on March 23 and 24. 

The former president is currently serving 36-months of pretrial detention for the alleged crimes of criminal organization and corruption. Previously, the Public Ministry had also ordered 18 months of pretrial detention against Castillo for the alleged crimes of rebellion and conspiracy, after the failed coup on December 7.

Raid at Aníbal Torres’ house

In the early hours of March 23, the Public Ministry raided the home of former Prime Minister and former adviser of Pedro Castillo, Aníbal Torres, in the San Isidro district of Lima, the capital. 

The purpose of the raid was reportedly to find information on the alleged crimes of rebellion and conspiracy, of which he is accused.

During the search, documents, tablets, computers, laptops, flash drives, hard drives and other electronic devices were seized.

The former prime minister is accused of having participated in Castillo’s coup attempt on December 7, 2022.

Raiding of Aníbal Torres’s house. Image courtesy Peru’s Government.

The lawyer Torres had a very important role before and during the term of the former president. Before being Prime Minister between February and November 2022, he was Minister of Justice during 2021.

After Castillo’s arrest, Torres defended him as his lawyer during the first hours of his arrest.

Aníbal Torres is not in prison, but in December 2022, the Supreme Court ordered him not to leave the country for 18 months.

Raid at Betssy Chávez’s house and the offices and homes of 18 congressmen

The following day, on March 24, the Public Ministry also raided the home of another former prime minister in the Castillo administration, Bettsy Chávez, related to her alleged participation in the failed coup on December 7.

Chávez was Prime Minister from November 2022 until December 7 of the same year, when she resigned after Pedro Castillo’s speech on national television, in which he announced the shutdown of Congress and the Judiciary.

Also on March 24, the Public Ministry raided the houses and congressional offices of 18 legislators linked to the “Los Niños” case.

According to the Public Ministry, during his term, President Castillo allegedly recruited a group of legislators, known as “Los Niños,” to facilitate public works in their regions, in exchange for voting against his impeachment.