Josué Gutierrez, an insecure ombudsman and his gray political past | Profile | Congress of the Republic | Free Peru | Fujimoriism | Stories EC | ARE

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Professor Sotano emphasized three things at once: security does not work, this office has never dealt with the problems of the city, perhaps, yes, but in exchange for money. They praised him, and he waved his pencil in the air, perhaps not realizing what he had promised. The first round of those hard-fought elections was less than a month away.

A few weeks later, a man named Josué Gutiérrez, whose gray political past few remember, opened a Twitter account. 72 hours before the election, the first thing he wrote when the latest polls circulated on WhatsApp: “All done. President Peter.”

As the new ombudsman Mr. Gutierrez is sworn in.

Jorge Sandisteven de Noriega, in 1996, was the first defender of the people. He confronted Fujimori during the most difficult years of that reign. He died in 2012. (El Comercio Archive)

/ Trade

Heavy past

The new head of the ombudsman’s office doesn’t have much to say about his political or academic experience, which is just one problem.

Gutierrez was a congressman for the Ghana Peru Party between 2011 and 2016. There is nothing to highlight in this parliamentary phase except that he promoted a law to create a detective college. He became the spokesman of his bench, perhaps as a reward for some unfathomable merit.

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In earlier years, he served as an alderman and municipal councilor in Huanuco. It could be said that he started ‘from the bottom’ and that he is accumulating knowledge of Peruvian politics, but that would be understated and inaccurate. Gutiérrez’s career was spurred on by fortune when he was hired as Peru Libre’s parliamentary adviser (October 2021) and received the card of that party led by Vladimir Cerón (January 2022).

Jose Gutierrez Ghana was the official bench spokesperson for Peru.  (Photo: Martin Pauca/GEC)

Jose Gutierrez Ghana was the official bench spokesperson for Peru. (Photo: Martin Pauca/GEC)

/ Martin Baca

Now let’s talk about current issues. Gutierrez has shown signs of not being exactly the kind of official with the great tolerance expected of an arbitrator. When interviewed by Congress about her eligibility for office, she was asked about Lesbian Awareness Day, and she replied: “These disabilities are abuse.” This week, in addition, he met members of ‘Los Compadientes’, a violent ultra-conservative group linked to ‘La Resistencia’, at a newly opened office. The message from his first days in office is clear.

“When he was interviewed by Congress about whether he was fit for office, he was asked about Lesbian Awareness Day, and he replied: ‘These disabilities are abuse.

Although he was very close to Peru Libre and Vladimir Cerón, his election was largely achieved by the votes of Fuerza Popular and Action Popular. There was another alarm: Gutierrez will coordinate the special committee responsible for selecting members of the National Board of Justice, the body that selects judges and prosecutors across the country. It’s hard not to think about the political utility of the position you just got.

The Office of the Ombudsman was created in 1996. Since then, almost all defenders have had great participation in important moments of the country’s political life. Jorge Sandisteven, who held the position from the beginning and weathered Fujimorado’s worst years, until long-serving official Eliana Revoler, who took over on an interim basis in April 2022 and led the company during anti-government protests. Dina Boluarte’s, security was safe from the political interests of the day.

In the end, the promise – or threat – that Castillo made that distant afternoon in Espinar was fulfilled, but with other protagonists.

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