César Villanueva – Wikipedia
César Villanueva Arévalo (born 5 August 1946) is a Peruvian politician who was the prime minister of Peru from April 2018 to March 2019, and previously served as prime minister from October 2013 to February 2014. In 2007, he became governor of the San Martín Region. He was sworn in as prime minister by President Ollanta Humala on 31 October 2013, and is affiliated with centre-left parties. In the 2016 general elections, he was elected congressman representing San Martin under the Alliance for the Progress of Peru of César Acuña.
Villanueva was born on August 5, 1946, in Tarapoto city. He studied administration at the National University Federico Villarreal (UNFV).
Early political career
His political career began in 1980, when he unsuccessfully ran for the Chamber of Deputies for the Popular Democratic Unit, made up of radical left groups. In 1983 he formed his own political group, the New Amazon Regional Movement. But he then left politics for several years, returning in 2001 as a candidate for Congress for Somos Peru. By then he had moved away from the radical left. In 2002, he ran for regional governor of San Martín, but he was unsuccessful.
Governor of San Martín
In January 2007, he became governor of San Martín after winning the election in November 2006 and was re-elected for a second term in the 2010 regional elections and served until he was appointed Prime Minister in 2013.During his term as governor, he served as president of the National Assembly of Regional Governments for two terms, between 2008 and 2009 and 2012 and 2013.
Prime Minister of Peru
He became Prime Minister of Peru on October 31, 2013. On February 24, 2014, he resigned from the position of Premier, after the Minister of Economy Luis Miguel Castilla Rubio denied him on a television program his claim that he had spoken with him about a possible increase in the minimum wage. Days before, the first lady Nadine Heredia had also said that the issue of the minimum wage was not on the government’s agenda. Faced with this series of denials, the opposition severely criticized the minister, describing me as just a “decorative figure.” 7 Years later, before the Congressional Oversight Commission, Villanueva confirmed that he had resigned as a protest against the constant interference of Nadine Heredia in State issues, despite not having any position of public representation.
He became Prime Minister for a second time in April 2018, under President Martín Vizcarra. He presented his resignation in March 2019. He was replaced by Salvador del Solar.
In the 2016 general elections, he was elected congressman representing the San Martin region under the Alliance for Progress of César Acuña.
On August 6, 2019, the Team of Prosecutors in the Lava Jato case questioned Jorge Barata, a former director of the Odebrecht company in Peru, in São Paulo as part of the investigation of the Odebrecht case. The expectation was the disclosure that Barata would make about the identity of the codinomes or pseudonyms that appeared in the templates housed in the company’s computer systems, related to illegal payments on various works carried out by the Brazilian construction company in Peru. The surprise was that one of the codinomes, Curriculum Vita, corresponded, according to Barata, to César Villanueva, and was related to two payments of US$30 thousand each, that the construction company would have made him when he was regional president of San Martín in 2008, in exchange for the award of the Cuñumbuque-Zapatero-San José de Sisa highway. Payments would have been made in cash.
Villanueva responded to the accusation in a press conference held on August 9, 2019. He flatly denied having received any money from Barata or another Odebrecht representative. He also said that he was waiving his parliamentary immunity to facilitate the investigation of the Judiciary, and that he did not rule out prosecuting Barata for defamation. He also announced that he would request a license from his party, the Alliance for Progress.
On 26 November 2019, he was arrested preventatively, while being investigated for alleged influence peddling in a bribery case linked to Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. His arrest was a request of the First Supreme Prosecutor’s Office Specialized in crimes of Corruption of Officials, this under the orders of the prosecutor Jesús Fernández Alarcón, who requested a preliminary arrest warrant for seven days against him.