Peru: scandal over Israeli security contractor

Peru’s Congress has opened a high-profile investigation into a contract with Israeli security firm Global CST, entered into by the previous government of Álan García, after an audit by the Comptroller General of the Republic found irregularities in the deal. The probe concluded that the Peruvian state had lost $16 million when the firm failed to fulfil terms of its contract with the Armed Forces Joint Command. A congressional oversight commission has questioned three former cabinet members in the scandal—ex-housing minister Hernán Garrido, and ex-defense ministers Ántero Flores Aráoz and Rafael Rey—as well as ex-Joint Command chief Gen. Francisco Contreras. Special anti-corruption prosecutor Julio Arbizu has called on García himself to testify before what is being called the Mega-Commission, and for the attorney general’s office, or Fiscalía, to investigate the former president. 

Global CST, whose founder and director is IDF reserve Gen. Israel Ziv, was secretly contracted in 2009 to help Peru’s military fight remnant Sendero Luminoso rebels in the Apurímac-Ene River Valley (VRAE). Testimony and documents confirm that Rey exchanged communication directly with Israel’s then-foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman over the deal, and called upon him to pressure CST’s competitor Armaz to drop out of the bidding process. According to testimony, Garrido also helped Global CST arrange a similar deal with the government of Colombia before recommending the firm to Peru’s own armed forces.

Also named is ex-admiral Carlos Tubino, now a lawmaker for the Fuerza Popular party, headed by Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori. Both Fujimoristas and supporters of García’s APRA charge that the investigation is politically motivated. (IPS, La Primera, March 22; Perú21, March 15; Perú21, March 8)

Controversy also surrounds contracts with the Israel Corporation, which has bought into Peru’s energy sector.