Peru's chief prosecutor attempts to derail corruption probe

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru's attorney general has dismissed a team investigating the far-reaching Odebrecht corruption scandal, setting off street protests in cities across the country.

President Martin Vizcarra denounced the top prosecutor's late Monday announcement, saying it undercuts Peru's drive to purge corruption.

Attorney General Pedro Chavarry abruptly removed investigators just weeks before they were set to reveal key evidence from the Brazilian construction company against powerful former Peruvian officials.

Prosecutors are investigating every Peruvian president who has governed since 2001 for alleged crimes of corruption and money laundering.

Hundreds of people in the capital of Lima and other cities responded to the attorney general's decision by taking to the streets waving Peruvian flags in protest.

Chavarry said the dismissals are necessary, but at a news conference he declined to answer questions.