Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo arrived in Lima on Sunday following his extradition from the United States. He is the latest former leader to face corruption charges in Peru.
Images showed Toledo, 77, donning a green jacket and red sweater, being escorted down the stairwell from a commercial flight at Lima’s international airport by Peruvian police and US Marshals.
Toledo, president of Peru from 2001 to 2006, turned himself in for extradition at a courthouse in San Jose, California, on Friday, after a judge denied his final appeal.
The extradition has sparked outrage and dismay in Peru, as yet another former president has fallen from grace. Toledo is accused of receiving millions of dollars in bribes from Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction corporation at the center of the largest corruption scandal in Latin America.
He is one of four former presidents of Peru who have been drawn into the corruption network. Former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who resigned in 2018 due to allegations of corruption, is also under investigation for alleged money laundering. In 2019, Alan Garcia, who succeeded Toledo as president between 2006 and 2011, committed suicide when police arrived at his residence to arrest him.
Toledo is accused of accepting approximately $35 million in bribery from Odebrecht in exchange for a contract to construct a highway connecting Peru and Brazil. The Brazilian company has confessed to paying $800 million to regional officials in exchange for lucrative public works contracts.
In 2018, Peru formally requested Toledo’s extradition; he was detained in the United States the following year and released on bail in 2020. He asserts he will not receive a fair trial in Peru, denying the allegations of collusion and money laundering. The prosecution has requested a twenty-year penitentiary term.
His attorney in the United States, David Bowker, stated that the former president was “deeply saddened and dismayed” by the decision to deny his request to block the extradition and referred to the investigation as a “political prosecution.”
Sunday, his Peruvian attorney, Roberto Su, stated that his client was in ill health and that his “rights had not been respected.”
Toledo will likely share the Barbadillo prison on a Lima police base with the 84-year-old ex-strongman, who was sentenced to 25 years in 2009 for corruption and human rights abuses. Fujimori ruled Peru for a decade and was imprisoned for corruption and human rights violations.