Americas, Peru, Opinion, Politics

Alberto Fujimori: Dictator Receives Pardon from Peru

Alberto Fujimori, former Peruvian president branded as a dictator, received a pardon for the crimes committed during his presidency. Let’s review this story a little. Was he really a dictator? Does he deserve forgiveness? Judge for yourself.

Fujimori was president of Peru from 1990 to 2000, studied physics, mathematics, and agronomy. In the 90s he founded his own party and went to presidential elections that year. He managed to defeat the strongest right-wing candidate, the writer, and politician, Mario Vargas Llosa.

Basically, his victory came from minority groups of the left and evangelicals, but when he took office, he immediately abandoned them, receiving direct advice from the United States and the IMF.

Is Alberto Fujimori a Dictator?

Fujimori came to the presidency with major changes in mind. Among his first measures was the dissolution of Congress, the creation of a new constitution and large-scale economic reforms. Following indications of the IMF, he implanted a series of economic measures, which managed to stop the inflation but devaluated the salaries of Peruvians significantly.

The reason why Alberto Fujimori decided to dissolve Congress was that not all the deputies were in favor of its economic measures. Without consensus, Fujimori eliminated it and, with the support of the army, generated a constitutional crisis that was resolved with the new constitution of 93. It basically meant more power for the President.

In addition to the economic and political shocks, Fujimori had to face terrorism. Two groups fought over political power and territory in Peru: “Sendero Luminoso” and “Grupo Colina”. Both were enemies and among their disputes, hundreds of innocent Peruvians died.

Fujimori openly fought Sendero Luminoso but, suspiciously, spoke very little about Grupo Colina. Years later, Fujimori and Vladimiro Montesinos, his personal advisor, were accused of influencing and favoring the creation of Grupo Colina.

Round 2: Unconstitutional Constitutional Manipulation

The economic measures of the first period, although controversial, boosted the growth of the Peruvian economy. Fujimori went for a second term and obtained the majority of votes.

Despite this good background, in the first days of his second term, Alberto Fujimori enacted an amnesty law that prohibited the continuation of investigations into human rights violations by government officials. Many of these incidents were directly related to the aforementioned Grupo Colina.

He had not finished his second term when he hinted that he could candidate for a third. The Peruvian constitution did not establish it that way but Congress, consisting of a fujimorist majority, accepted the decree.

Terrorism, Censorship, and Human Rights Violations

Months later, the organization MRTA, considered terrorists, kidnapped 800 people of political and social renown in the residence of the ambassador of Japan in Peru. Why? They wanted media attention to denounce human rights violations in Peruvian prisons and the release of several of its members.

This crisis lasted almost five months and ended in favor of Fujimori, with a military operation that achieved the liberation of all the hostages. The operation occurred, conveniently, when reports of corruption in its name began to emerge. These complaints included bribery and intimidation of media owners, fraud, and concealment of diversion of funds.

Without finishing his second term, Fujimori embarked on his way to a third election, winning the first round. The protests for fraud were so great that he was asked not to go on a second round and to assume the presidency directly.

He started, but during his inauguration, there were multiple protests that ended the lives of many protesters. The opposition claimed that hitmen had infiltrated protests under Fujimori’s orders.

Then, it was proved that Montesinos, a government official, had bribed several media outlets and political parties. Fujimori’s immediate response was to fire him… but not before giving him $15 million in gratitude for his service. The protests and complaints grew in such a way, that Fujimori eventually had to flee to Japan, where he resigned as president of Peru.

Years passed with the Peruvian Congress demanding his extradition but didn’t obtain it until 2007 in Chile, when crimes of corruption and against humanity were proven. In 2010, he was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for more than 17 different charges.

Alberto Fujimori Receives a Controversial Pardon

At the end of 2017, the current Peruvian president, Pedro Kuczynski, publicly announced the Peruvian state’s pardon to Fujimori for his crimes, mainly because the former president, of 79 years, is in a serious health condition.

The Peruvian people, living in the metropolis, are in complete disagreement with the measure, while, according to surveys, 40% of those in the countryside support it. After only 10 years in prison and in the vicinity of death, does Fujimori deserve a pardon?

About Daniela D. Franco

Daniela is a Social Psychologist from Venezuela, she is interested in the changes technology and the development of social networks generate into human interactions, and is currently studying Digital Marketing. She enjoys reading, writing and biking while David Bowie is playing in her iPod.

All Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.