Peru: “Blame Game Over Quake Fake”

“Hot food for the people of Pisco.” Source: Agenica Peru (YouTube)

Del Castillo pide cárcel para Vega y cómplices de compras en el SIS: “The Peruvian prime minister calls for Vega and his accomplices to be jailed over health services procurements.”

The Peruvian government recently suspended the broadcast licenses of radio stations in the quake-ravaged region of Pisco — see that newsreel on the case, above — over allegedly “irresponsible” charges that earthquake relief in the region had devolved into a vast carnival of waste, fraud, corruption, freestyle kleptocracy, and generally what Thomas Hobbes thought of when he used the term “the state of nature.”


It seems to be quite true, however, that initial news reports, quoting Peruvian seismologists, downplayed the magnitude of the seismic event. These errors were later corrected when U.S. seismologists weighed in with the correct figure of 7.9.

Now this:

Las irregularidades cometidas en la compra de raciones de alimentos en el Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS) para los damnificados del terremoto del 15 de agosto son tan evidentes que hasta el mismo presidente del Consejo de Ministros, Jorge del Castillo, exigió ayer desde Puno apresar a los responsables de la irregular adquisición.

The irregularities committed in the procurement of food rations by the national health service (SIS) for those affected by the August 15 earthwaure are so evident that even prime minister Castillo, in Puno yesterday, called for the arrest of those responsible for the irregular procurement.

Who is to blame?

Y no dudó en señalar con nombre y apellido a quien se encuentra más involucrado en el escándalo y que ha puesto en aprietos hasta al ministro de Salud, Carlos Vallejos: el ex jefe de Administración José Vega Díaz.

Castillo did not hesitate to name names regarding those he thinks are most involved in the scandal, which has put the Health Minister, Carlos Vallejos: the former head of SIS, José Vega Díaz, in a tight spot as well.

President Garcia’s minister of the interior, by the way, survived a censure vote in the congress over another procurement-related matter (an e-procurement “auction” with only one bidder). See

What does former President Toledo allegedly chasing drunk, naked girls gone wild around the town of Jésus Maria have to do with beancounting questions about Peruvian government procurement contracts, you ask?

Good question.

“Yo digo desde acá, una vez más: ya está recontra probado que el señor (José) Vega, quien era gerente y quien hizo las compras, le compraba nada menos que a su padrastro. ¿Qué espera el Poder Judicial para meterlo preso, qué espera?, ¿están esperando que se fuguen del país?, ¿están esperando que desaparezca?”, cuestionó el jefe del gabinete durante el lanzamiento en Puno de la estrategia del programa Crecer.

“I say here once again: It is now proven that Vega, which was in charge and made the purchases, bought them from his stepfather, no less. What are the courts waiting for? Arrest him! Are they waiting for him to flee the country? Are they waiting for him to disappear?” he asked during the launch of the Crecer program in Puno.

Como se recuerda, este diario ha venido aportando pruebas fehacientes de que José Vega utilizó su cargo para favorecer a las empresas de sus allegados.

As you will recall, this newspaper has long been publishing reliable evidence that José Vega used his post to favor the companies of his cronies.

“La denuncia es muy seria, hay lenidad del Ministerio Público y en el Poder Judicial en el tema del SIS que es un escándalo nacional”.

“This is a very serious charge, the prosecutor and courts are slow to act on the issue, which is a national scandal.”

“Es un escándalo nacional, hemos reclamado una rápida decisión judicial ante un hecho flagrante, clamoroso y demostrado”, agregó.

“It is a national scandal, we have called for a rapid resolution from the courts, given the flagrant, screaming, proven [nature of the case],” he added.

It’s a scandal!

Somebody do something!

I collect specimens of the rhetoric of hysterical virginity, as you know, and really, these guys from APRA and the forces of Fujimori in Peru are among the world’s purest practicioners — followed closely by a certain sort of legislator from the Brazilian Northeast.

Let me see what I can dig up on the actually beancounting angle on the case.

Garcia’s vice-president, Admiral Gianpietri — a Fujimorist holdover — has also taken fire over military procurement schemes. See

La República — which has suffered an ongoing campaign to undermine its journalistic reputation, mounted by the amazing Vladimir Montesinos — has also reported extensively on how Peruvian army equipment tends to fall off the back of trucks, wink wink, nudge nudge — and wind up in the hands of narcoFARCoparamilitaries in Southern Colombia. See also

Health Minister Vallejos, meanwhile, is blaming his predecessor:

En declaraciones a Cuarto Poder, el ministro de Salud, Carlos Vallejos, manifestó que la responsabilidad en las irregularidades cometidas en el Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS) recae en el ex jefe Julio Espinoza.

In statements made to the Cuarto Poder [“Fourth Estate”] TV news program, Vallejos stated that the responsibility for the irregularities committed at the SIS belongs to former director Julio Espinoza.

Al igual que Del Castillo, exigió al Poder Judicial mayor celeridad en el caso. “El ex jefe del SIS tiene toda la responsabilidad, y este señor (Espinoza) debe aclarar su situación y no seguir enlodando a las personas que lo rodean”, indicó Vallejos, sobre quien pesa un pedido de interpelación.

Like Del Castillo, he demanded a faster response from the judiciary. “The former head of the SIS is fully responsible, and this man (Espinoza) must clarify the situation and not go on smearing those around him,” said Vallejos, who has been summoned to testify about his involvement in the case.

The Radio Orión incident. Source: Agencia Peru (YouTube)

“It’s all someone else’s fault!”

Who knows? That may be the case. Still, my commonplace book is filling up with examples of this gambit from the tropical and Andean gardens of political rhetoric.

See, for example,

Asimismo, mostró su indignación por verse involucrado en la denuncia del diario La República de que el ex jefe de Administración del SIS José Vega dirigió las adquisiciones para favorecer a la empresa del coronel EP (r) Guillermo Bianchi.

He also expressed indignation over finding himself involved in the charges, first reported by this newspaper, that the former head of administration at the SIS, José Vega, directed procurement contracts to favor the business owned by Army Col. (Ret.) Guillermo Bianchi.

Como se recuerda, este diario denunció que Vega gastó 76% de fondos del SIS en la empresa de su padrastro, precisamente Bianchi Burga.

As you recall, this newspaper charged that Vega spent 76% of SIS funds at his stepfather’s firm — the same Col. Bianchi.

The usual risk-management takeaways:

  1. It sucks to be Peruvian generally
  2. It sucks to be a Peruvian journalist
  3. Congress: Do we really want to give these people money?

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