Peru minister resigns after Discover Petroleum oil auction scandal

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo (left) Former Minister Juan Valdivia (right)
© Andina

After firing the president of a state company, President Alan Garcia accepted Monday morning the resignation of the country’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Juan Valdivia.

Stating he had nothing to hide and would submit to any investigation, Valdivia announced he would resign.

His resignation came after several high-ranking officials were caught receiving bribes to influence the auction of several oil blocks in the regions of Pisco and Madre de Dios.

Recordings and documents to support the claims were presented by Fernando Rospigliosi on Cuarto Poder, an investigative news show.

Documents and recordings showed that Alberto Quimper, head of the state energy agency Perupetro and Rómulo León, a prominent member of President Alan Garcia’s APRA party, made a deal to favor Discover Petroleum of Norway in oil block auctions.

While the president of Peru’s state oil and gas company (Petro-Peru), César Gutiérrez has also resigned, Rómulo León has challenged the government to send authorities to his home.

After accepting Valdivia’s resignation, Alan Garcia stated the decision had been a rational one, affirming the former minister’s honor had not been affected by the scandal.

"I accept the resignation so that it is known that our administration is a politically responsible one," said Garcia.

It is currently not known who will replace Juan Valdivia as the next Minister of Energy.