Peruvian President Pedro Castilio and his wife have been accused of forging a master’s thesis. According to a report by a TV channel in the country, 54 percent of the thesis written jointly by the president and his wife is stolen from the writings of others. The president, however, called the report “hateful.”
The Guardian reports that Peruvian prosecutors are now investigating allegations of plagiarism in the thesis against President Castilio and his wife, Lilia Paredes. They launched the investigation following an investigative report by a local television channel.
Panoramic television’s Panorama program sought to clarify the transparency of the 121-page thesis written by the president and his wife. To do this, they enlisted the help of Tarnitin, a US-based online theft detection service. It was later revealed that the influential Peruvian couple had stolen 54 percent of another author’s writing and used it in their thesis.
The TV channel reports that the names of the three professionals who validated the thesis of the president and his wife are not in the Peruvian National Identity Registry.
President Pedro Castilio and his wife, Lilia Paredes, are both schoolteachers by profession. More than a decade ago, the two obtained a master’s degree in educational psychology from Sir Valejo University, using the thesis alleging plagiarism.
A prosecutor in the small Peruvian province of Takabamba is investigating allegations of theft against the president and his wife. C Sir Valejo University has also appointed a commission to investigate.
However, Castillo denied the allegations, despite widespread discussions. Describing the allegations against him as “hateful”, the president said it was part of a “plan to destabilize the government”.
In a statement, the president said, “The thesis was verified by quality educators.” He added that he had an advisor for his work on education. He also obtained the degree with the consent of a judge.
Serious theft is punishable by up to eight years in prison. In addition, four years imprisonment for lying.
Theft is nothing new in Peru. Two of Castilio’s ministers have faced similar allegations.
Castilio, a village schoolteacher in the poverty-stricken Andean district, took power in Peru in July last year. Since then, he has been going through turbulent times for the last 10 months. He also survived the impeachment process twice.