Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo has been remanded in custody after being extradited from the United States to face charges of corruption and money laundering during his time in office. The 77-year-old was flown back to his homeland and taken to the Barbadillo prison, where he will remain in detention while awaiting trial in 18 months.
Toledo served as president of Peru from 2001 to 2006 and is accused of receiving millions of dollars from Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht in return for public works contracts. Peruvian prosecutors are requesting that he be sentenced to more than 20 years in jail.
Toledo had been living in the United States for several years before being arrested in 2019 and placed under house arrest a year later.
He had filed several petitions to contest his extradition, which Peru had sought since 2018. The former president denies the allegations against him, and his lawyer has said that he is suffering from cancer.
Toledo is just one of several former Peruvian presidents who have been embroiled in corruption scandals. Four other former presidents are currently facing corruption investigations, including Ollanta Humala (president from 2011 to 2016), Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-18), Martin Vizcarra (2018-20), and Pedro Castillo (2021-22).
Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), another former president, is serving a prison sentence for human rights abuses and was also convicted of corruption.
Toledo’s extradition and detention come amid a period of political turmoil in Peru, which saw Castillo ousted and arrested last December shortly after attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.
His arrest sparked months of street protests, which left dozens dead and disrupted the country’s lucrative tourism industry.