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U.S. extradites former Peruvian president to face corruption charges

He surrendered to U.S. authorities on Friday after a court of appeals denied his stay on his extradition

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo
Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo | EFE

April 24, 2023 8:52am

Updated: April 24, 2023 8:52am

Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo was extradited from the United States to his home country on Sunday to face corruption charges, becoming the third president to be imprisoned in the country.

Toledo, 77, served as president of Peru from 2001 to 2016. He is accused of taking at least $20 million in bribes from Obredecht, a Brazilian construction company that has reportedly used bribes to win contracts throughout the region for decades. 

The former president’s extradition process began in 2018 when he traveled to the U.S. after he was declared a fugitive in Peru. The former president was arrested in California and was initially placed in solitary confinement at the Santa Rita Jail, about 40 miles east of San Francisco.

He was released in 2020 due to his deteriorating health and the coronavirus pandemic. Toledo was placed under house arrest with an ankle monitor. 

Toledo surrendered to U.S. authorities on Friday after a court of appeals denied his stay on his extradition, ending more than four years of legal battles. Toledo arrived in Peru on Sunday and was received at Lima’s airport by police and other officials. He was immediately transferred to a court in the city’s historic center. 

Toledo will serve an 18-month preventative detention in a police base outside of Lima while he is investigated over corruption charges, which he denies. Subsequently, prosecutors are requesting a 20-year prison sentence. 

It is still unknown where Toledo will be held, however, many speculate it will be the same prison that holds former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) and former president Pedro Castillo (2021-2022). Toledo’s lawyers, however, have said that they would seek to place him under house arrest because of his health problems. 

Toledo is one of four former presidents linked to the Obredecht corruption scandal: Former president Ollanta Hulama is currently on trial after allegedly receiving $3 million from the Brazilian company.

Pedro Pablo Kuczunski, who was in office until 2018, is under house arrest. Alan Garcia, who was president from 2006 to 2011, committed suicide when the police arrived to arrest him over corruption charges.