.- Bishop Miguel Irizar Campos of Callao, Peru, said this week Peruvian society continues to be rampant with corruption because there is a lack of will on the part of leaders, as well as little vigilance and collaboration from citizens, to eradicate it. In a letter entitled, “A Peru Without Corruption,” the bishop explained that a “strong ethical and moral conscience” is necessary in the battle against this scourge.
He recalled that in 2001, then-President Valentin Paniagua established a special commission to deal with the problem of corruption. The commission found that the commitment to serve the common good was “weak,” and that politicians and leaders frequently violated ethical norms in order to bestow favors on certain groups and individuals.
The commission recommended the creation of “an autonomous organism elected by Congress” that would institutionalize “the fight against corruption,” as well as “guarantee transparency and accountability in public affairs.”
Nevertheless, Bishop Irizar pointed out that four years later, “I wonder what we have done in the fight against corruption in Peru,” at the Executive, Legislative and Judicial levels, as well as “among the populace in general.”
“Those in public office bear much responsibility in this battle,” he noted, adding that they should strive for the correct application of the law and conduct public affairs with transparency.
“Corruption is difficult to neutralize,” Bishop Irizar explained, “because it adopts multiple forms; it is stamped out in one area, and resurfaces in another.” In order to eradicate it, he maintained, “we need persistent will on the part of leaders and the generous collaboration of all citizens.”