The South American nation of Peru is no stranger to corrupt and criminal activity stemming from its executive branch of government. In the past 194 years, Peru has hosted 109 different presidents, each averaging 1.7 years per term. In addition, only twenty percent of these presidents were elected through a democratic voting system.

Now, as of March 21, 2018, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is the most recent president to resign. During his campaign and through his election in 2016 (the closest election in the country’s history with a vote recount and result of 50.122% to 49.878%), Kuczynski, an Oxford and Princeton graduate and former banker, promised the widespread modernization of Peru and strong economic growth. On this front, he did not fail, maintaining a yearly GDP growth rate of 3.5%. However, on multiple occasions, Kuczynski struggled to make clear distinctions between his business life and his political life, raising suspicions of corruption and revealing faults in his character. Though the most recent corruption allegations have not yet been proven, Kuczynski’s extensive prior record point to his guilt.

Kuczynski’s downfall stemmed from his alleged involvement in the Odebrecht Scandal in which he is accused of receiving $4.8 million dollars. The Odebrecht Scandal, involving Odebrecht, Latin America’s largest infrastructure development company, and countless Latin American politicians, is the product of a sixteen-year scheme by the firm to bribe individuals with political power to obtain massive construction contracts. During this time, it is estimated that Odebrecht spent approximately $800 million to secure government contracts worth billions of dollars.  Despite this accusation, a thorough investigation and trial have yet to be completed, rendering Kuczynski a free man for the time being. So, the question remains: is he guilty?

Legally, the answer is no. However, numerous corrupt political maneuvers taken by Kuczynski and his team paint a different answer to this question. For example, in December 2017, Kuczynski narrowly survived his first impeachment vote after a secret negotiation with the opposing party leader, Keiko Fujimori (daughter of Alberto Fujimori, former president of Peru and convicted human rights violator). In this negotiation, Kuczynski agreed to pardon her father for his crimes in exchange for votes from her party’s supporters. This action raised suspicion surrounding his political motives and his behind-the-scenes manipulation. Furthermore, in March 2018, a recording of Kuczynski party officials negotiating terms for another under-the-table anti-impeachment deal surfaced, this time in exchange for financial benefits. Further investigation involving a Peruvian business leader who has remained anonymous has also claimed that during Kuczynski’s 2011 campaign to join the political group Alianza por el Gran Cambio (allowing him to run for the Presidency), he, along with Jorge Barate (leader of the Odebrecht scheme), negotiated a deal with Susana de la Puente, heiress to the Wiese banking dynasty and Peruvian ambassador to the United Kingdom. This agreement planned to route $300,000 of Odebrecht funds through Susana de la Puente to the  Kuczynski campaign. De la Puente’s cooperation would buy her illegal influence in the political sphere through Kuczynski, ultimately aiding her business efforts.

Lastly, Kuczynski’s choice to resign before impeachment offers a major hint toward his involvement in the Odebrecht scandal and his other corrupt dealings. If he were innocent, why would he back down? Kuczynski claims to be shielding his family and protecting the nation from the unavoidable political turmoil of an impeachment. However, considering his past actions and lack of financial and moral integrity, his involvement in the Odebrecht Scandal would be no surprise and is widely regarded as fact in Peru.