Peru Rights Group Hangs Wanted Signs for President's Nephew

A women's rights group is putting up wanted posters around the capital for one of President Alejandro Toledo nephews, who fled his rape trial in November.

The posters, bearing the name and photo of 36-year-old Miguel Toledo state: "Wanted" and "Accused of rape."

Gina Yanez, president of the women's group Manuela Ramos, told The Associated Press the campaign "is a way that we have come up with to call attention to the public and for us to help locate this subject."

Judge Carlos Morales issued an arrest order for Miguel Toledo in November after rejecting a defense attorney's argument that the defendant was unable to attend court because of an ear infection. Prosecutors are seeking a six-year prison sentence.

Miguel Toledo and three other men are accused of luring a 22-year-old woman to a restaurant in March 2004 to discuss a job offer. Instead, they allegedly drugged her and took her to a hotel where she was raped.

Before disappearing, Miguel Toledo denied drugging the woman and said that a sexual encounter did occur, but that it was consensual.

Toledo, who took office in July 2001 and has five months left on his term, has been plagued by scandals involving people close to him.

The president's sister, Margarita, has been under house arrest since January 2005 on charges that she oversaw a scheme to forge petition signatures to get his Peru Possible political party on the ballot in 2000.

Last month, another of President Toledo's nephews, Williams Toledo, 23, was sentenced to 16 months probation for his part in a brawl with two security guards outside a Lima night club that reportedly broke out over an argument about paying for parking.