- Mercedes Cabanillas is an APRA party congresswoman, ex-head of congress and a key member of the APRA inner circle (to give you an idea, she was recently voted 4th most influential politican in Peru).
- Cabanillas is the mentor and sponsor of Luciana León, also an APRA congresswoman (and at 30 years old the youngest member of congress). Cabanillas has also been closely involved in the “modernization” of PetroPeru since APRA took power back in 2006.
- Cabanillas’ protegé Luciana León is, coincidentally, daughter of Romulo León, the APRA stalwart caught red-handed in the PetroPeru bribery scandal. Luciana has been caught up in the scandal via e-mail correspndence with her father that makes it clear she knew about his dealings with Discover Petroleum and Petroperu.
- Fernando Rospiglioli, ex-minister of the interior in the Toledo government, is the journalist who broke the story about corruption PetroPeru. He and Cabanillas have a enmity that stretches back to the early part of this decade.
- Rospiglioli writes a weekly column in Peru 21.
- The editor of Peru 21 has just been sacked by the newspaper’s owners the “El Comercio” group.
- “El Comercio” is Peru’s newspaper of record and firmly pro-APRA.
- Rospiglioli today resigned his post at Peru 21 in protest for the sacking of his editor (along with several other journalists working at the newspaper).
Finally, check out Susana Villarán’s blog for updated information on the fallout from this obvious case of government press-gagging (Spanish language).
The final finally: As local politico Juan Sheput points out in his blog ‘Mate Pastor’ today, Peru 21 avoids mentioning the latest revelation in the PetroPeru/Romulo León affair, preferring to headline with a bland article about a supposed bickering session between politicians Mauricio Mulder (APRA) and Yehude Simon (the new PM). Quite impressive to note that just a couple of days ago Peru21 housed the reporter that broke the whole scandal…now it just pretends it doesn’t exist.