Ministry, leaving the investigative authority in the hands of the police.  There have been other anti 
corruption initiatives within key ministries as well. In 1997, Blanca Nelida Colan, the President of the
Public Ministry proposed the 
Fiscal Supremo Antocorrupcion
. In 1998, the President of the Council of
Ministers proposed an  Anticorruption Czar.  In 1999, the Comptroller General announced  a legal
anticorruption project,  which featured an Anticorruption Tribunal. 
35
 None of these efforts have borne
fruit, suggesting a lack of political will.
Fighting judicial corruption was invoked by Fujimori to justify his 1992 
auto golpe
, and one reason
why the coup enjoyed broad support. However, to date, no progress has been made. Attempts to fight
judicial corruption have ended in failure, and those responsible for the initiatives have been dismissed.
The President, Congress and various judicial actors have occasionally joined forces thwart anti 
corruption efforts. In one case, a law obliging the Armed Forces and other public officials to make
sworn declarations about their salaries and properties was vetoed by President Fujimori.
In 1996, some 46 emergency decrees were passed that eliminated oversight of the financing and
implementation of public works, such as competitive bidding. These measures have paved the way for
greater corruption of the social support program.  Irregularities  detected in the financing of protective
public works to repair damage caused by El Nino, for example, were so flagrant that they led to a
request to the Congress for a special investigative committee.
36
 This has yet to be formed, nor has the
Comptroller shown interest in exercising its investigative prerogatives. Therefore, the actual extent of
corruption in these sectors is unknown.
D.
Decentralization and Local Government
Peru has bucked regional trends toward government decentralization. Although direct election of mayors
was introduced in the early 1980s, there has been only limited progress in creating a functioning
decentralized system that brings government closer to the people, and provides sufficient resources for
local actors to effect change.
The history of local democracy in Peru is one of a few periods of experimentation with decentralized
authority in the 19
th
 and early 20
th
 centuries, and long periods of strong central domination. This tension
between central authority and regional and local democracy has been critical in Peru's political system
and continues to be a source of  conflict today. In a country as diverse as is Peru, this unresolved issue is
likely to emerge as a key component of Peruvian politics over the next decade.
1.
Regions and Departments
In the contemporary period, Fernando Belaunde, during his first period of office (1963 1968) attempted
to return democracy to local authorities, only to watch the military government that seized power in 1968
reverse his inchoate decentralization project and reassert central control. In 1980, when civilian rule was
                                                    
35
 Edmundo Cruz,  En El Combate a la Corrupcion, Nota Desaprobatorio,  in
 El Per  Realmente
 Existent,  Lima:
CEDEP, 1999, pp. 55 64.
36
 It was alleged that public funds were being  skimmed,  and  steered  by INDECI (
the Instituto Nacional de
Defensa Civil
), operatives to certain firms in certain areas in exchange for bribes. (Interview with Alberto Joo
Change, Executive President of the Consejo Transitorio de Administracion Regional, Piura. Also, interview with
Luz Maria Helguero de Plaza, Director, 
El Tiempo
, Piura's daily newspaper.)
H:\INCOMING\July24\MSI Submission\Fn Email.doc
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