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Peru

Send Fujimori back to prison

Tuesday 2 January 2018, by Hugo Blanco

Taking advantage of the holiday season, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuzinski (PPK) freed former dictator Alberto Fujimori, imprisoned for multiple murder. Christmas Eve is called " the night of peace, night of love" but the Christmas gift of PPK to the Peruvian people was to free the symbol of war and hatred against our people .

From that moment, in Cusco, where I was, in Lima and in other cities, people went out to the streets, abandoning their Christmas dinner. In Lima, the capital, the demonstration intended to go to the Government Palace - the seat of government -, but in the face of police opposition went to the residence of the president. The videos show the protesters pushing against police shields.

On Christmas Day, Cusco returned to the streets and a meeting was called at the premises of the Workers’ Federation of Cusco for the following day. At the meeting, a governing body was appointed to continue the fight for Fujimori to be returned to prison. A regional strike is being prepared and a national strike will be fought. There were protest demonstrations in several cities.

Former Minister of Justice Marisol Pérez Tello had said that the Peruvian president should not be granted a common pardon since he was convicted of crimes considered crimes against humanity. But, the president changed the Comisión de Gracias Presidenciales, the body that considers pardons, by appointing a new minister, Enrique Mendoza, in order to have Fujimori’s freedom.

They set up a medical board of three people, which included Fujimori’s own doctor, who described Fujimori’s health as "serious". The formal basis for the pardon was the former president’s supposed bad health. The Peruvian people think that this is a betrayal, because precisely PPK was chosen so that the daughter of the dictator was not president, because she would free her father. Peruvian law prevents a prisoner from being released when there is an ongoing legal process: in Fujimori’s case there is the matter of the killing in Pativilca. Therefore the freeing of Fujimori is illegal.

There is suspicion too that PPK did this because Fujimori’s son Kenji had backed him weeks earlier in a fight against his own impeachment and that this was the quid pro quo. [1]

What did Fujimorismo mean?

In 1990, the candidates in the Peruvian Presidential elections were Mario Vargas Llosa and Fujimori.

The economic program of Vargas was neoliberal, so, against that, Peru voted for Fujimori. But once in power, Fujimori carried out the economic policy proposed by Vargas Llosa and privatized public companies. On the night of April 5, 1992, Fujimori made an announcement to the nation, dissolving the Congress of the Republic, the judiciary, and the Public Ministry.

While the speech was being broadcast on television, Army, Navy and Air Force troops arrived at the Congress of the Republic, the Judiciary, the Public Ministry and other institutions to take complete control of them. The headquarters of the General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP) and other unions was also shut down.

The events that occurred immediately after the message to the nation were only broadcast by the international media. Members of the Armed Forces entered TV channels and radio stations, and forced them to continue with normal transmission, without informing about what was happening in state institutions and in the streets. The government decreed a curfew and began a series of arrests of businessmen and politicians.

Fujimori took control of the judiciary. Using the money of all Peruvians, he promoted those parts of the media with whom he had a sweetheart deal.

He educated his children in expensive US universities with the money of the Peruvian people.

His family members stole money sent from Japan to poor people in Peru. His wife, Susana Iguchi, reported this. For that reason he had her arrested and tortured. His daughter Keiko agreed to be named "first lady" instead of her imprisoned and tortured mother.

Indigenous women were forcibly sterilized to exterminate our race. He changed the constitution so that his reelection was possible. He bought politicians, as we saw in a video of his main advisor. He organized groups of mercenary assassins such as the Colina group that massacred students and a professor from La Cantuta University. The Colina group also carried out a massacre in Barrios Altos, a poor neighbourhood of Lima.

The Pativilca case, mentioned earlier, went like this: Colina members kidnapped John Calderón Ríos (18), Toribio Ortiz Aponte (25), Felandro Castillo Manrique (38), Pedro Agüero Rivera (35), Ernesto Arias Velásquez (17) ) and César Rodríguez Esquivel (29).

After seizing them, they tortured them with burning torches on various parts of their bodies, including the anus; and they also kicked them. After this, they were killed with two rounds of bullets in the head and their bodies were thrown in a sugar cane field.

Decline

In 2000, a video appeared that showed Fujimori’s advisor Vladimiro Montesinos (now imprisoned) buying an opposition politician. Fujimori announced that there would be elections and that he would not run.

He then traveled to the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) held in Brunei, and resigned from the presidency by fax on . Then he traveled to Japan. He is also a Japanese citizen because his father is Japanese and he calculated that that country would not send him back to Peru.

Around the time of the Peruvian elections in 2006, he traveled to Chile, because his supporters told him that the support of the Peruvian population was great. But when Peru requested his extradition on the basis of the crimes his government had committed, Chile sent him back. He was imprisoned for the massacres of La Cantuta and Barrios Altos.

The pardon

The pardon made by PPK at the end of 2017 is a political pardon. When Congress elected PPK, Fujimori telephoned his supporters to vote against. As a reward for that, PPK pardoned him.

It is illegal, because there is now acceptance of extradition for other crimes: The decision of the Supreme Court of Chile unanimously approved the extension of Fujimori’s extradition which enables the Peruvian courts to begin action on the so-called Pativilca case . Peruvian law prevents the release of an inmate when there is a process in progress. Therefore the liberation of Fujimori is illegal.

International response

Human Rights organizations have requested a hearing at the session of the International Human Rights Court that will be held in February 1918.

The Regional Office for South America of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Acnudh), Foundation for Due Process (DPLF), Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil) and the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA) believe that international human rights standards have not been respected.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights cites the hearing that took place before Fujimori’s release. They point out that the participation of Fujimori’s own doctor’s in the medical board shows that the process was not impartial affects the impartiality of the process and what right of pardon prevents him from being prosecuted for the Pativilca case. The extraordinary hearing of the IACHR will be on February 2. The supranational court warned that by granting a pardon to Fujumori, PPK breached international obligations.

Resignations in protest

Three officials of the Ministry of Justice have resigned because of the pardon. The Director General of Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice resigned. The prefect (the highest political office at departmental level) of Moquegua, Paulina Lourdes Cano Oviedo, resigns her position and also left the government party. The Minister of Culture Salvador del Solar resigns. Three parliamentarians of the president’s party resign from the party.

Popular demonstrations continue

Arequipa, Cusco, Puno and Tacna continue to protest. The trade unions in Puno declare PPK a traitor and are planning demonstrations. They say: "Fujimorism came to power through PPK. All corrupt politicians should go.

In the north: Chiclayo, Trujillo Chimbote and Piura also mobilized.

The General Confederation of Workers of Peru is discussing the possibility of a national strike.

Cusco, December 31 2017)

P.S.

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