After “The Sodalitium Scandal” report was broadcast, Carlos Alberto Gómez de la Torre, then representative of the San Juan Bautista Civil Association, an institution linked to the SCV and accused in the documentary of usurping land from rural inhabitants, filed aggravated defamation lawsuits against Yovera and other people who participated in the report, including Paola Ugaz, Samuel Alberca, and Carmen Campodónico.
The accusation against Yovera was considered beyond the statute of limitations by the judiciary in June, but the ruling was appealed by Gómez de la Torre. Last year, the lawsuit against Ugaz was considered beyond the statute of limitations and dismissed by the Peruvian justice system.
Alberca was convicted in a lower court and acquitted on appeal. But with the passage of time, the statute of limitations also expired. Campodónico was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and a fine of 1,000 soles (about $270) in civil reparation, and his sentence was finalized.
In his statement to ACI Prensa, Dávila also rejected the accusations in the Yovera documentary and assured that the report contains “a succession of falsehoods, errors, and omissions.”
The versions of those who made allegations against the companies related to the Sodalitium, Dávila said, “were not duly checked and corroborated in an investigation that supposedly seeks to have journalistic rigor. As if that were not enough, they did not include in the report the defense’s documents that were delivered to the journalist in charge of the investigation, long before the report was broadcast.”
Sodalitium expresses gratitude for visit
At the end of the Scicluna and Bertomeu visit, the Sodalitium published a statement signed by its superior general thanking the pope’s envoys “for their presence and work during their visit to Peru.”
Correa said he had given the papal envoys “updated information on the care and reparation process for victims of abuse in the Sodalitium” and explained that they were asked for additional information on some financial matters, “which we are committed to providing clearly and completely within the time frame established by the envoys of the Holy Father.”
According to Correa, they will include international audits that these institutions have been undergoing for several years, as well as reports that clearly support some issues of interest to the delegates.” In addition, he noted that “this information has already been presented to Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, our delegate appointed by the Holy See for financial affairs.”
The Sodalitium case
The most serious accusations against the SCV are linked to its founder, Luis Fernando Figari, and Germán Doig, who was his vicar general until his sudden death in 2001.
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A Sodalitium report published in 2017 acknowledges the sexual abuse and abuse of power by Figari as well as those of Doig and former members of the institution: Virgilio Levaggi, Jeffrey Daniels, and Daniel Murguía.
According to the Sodalitium, it has an approved amount of $2.84 million for financial reparations and different types of assistance to victims.
A new investigation by the prosecutor?
During the visit of the pope’s envoys, on Aug. 1 the Peruvian newspaper La República reported that prosecutor Manuela Villar Ramírez, who specializes in money laundering cases, opened a preliminary investigation into Luis Baertl Jourde, cousin of Father Jaime Baertl, and Sodalitium members Juan Len Álvarez and Carlos Neuenschwander Sahurie, who years ago were general assistants of finances of the SCV.
La República referenced a publication from the Convoca.pe portal from November 2021 about the leak of the documents known as the “Pandora Papers” and the alleged creation of offshore accounts linked to the Sodalitium in the British Virgin Islands and Panama: Alma Minerals Limited and Providential Group Inc., respectively.
These organizations are in turn related to the Peruvian companies Alma Minerals Perú SA and Inversiones San José SA.