Since he entered politics in 1990, the former president Alberto Fujimori divided the society Peru between those who praise his figure, considering that he saved his country from terrorism and economic collapse, and those who emphasize that he was an autocrat who committed serious violations of human rights and abused democratic institutions to maintain his power.
Fujimori, 85 years old and whose release was ordered this Tuesday by the Constitutional Court in defiance of the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IDC), was serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity for two massacres committed. in Lima by the covert military group Colina and the kidnapping of a journalist and a businessman after the “self-coup” that took place in April 1992.
(Read: Constitutional Court of Peru orders the release of former president Alberto Fujimori)
The former president, nicknamed “Chino” for his oriental features, despite being of Japanese descent, was born in 1938 and exercised a heavy-handed government in Peru between 1990 and 2000.
On the first occasion, he defeated the writer Mario Vargas Llosa as an anti-establishment candidate and was re-elected two other times amid allegations of fraud.
On April 5, 1992, Fujimori carried out a coup d’état with the support of the Armed Forces that led him to assume all the powers of the State, after closing Congress and intervening in the Judiciary and the Court of Constitutional Guarantees.
After pressure from countries and international organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the ruler convened a Constituent Congress that promulgated a new Political Constitution in 1993, which is still in force.
In 1994, he divorced Susana Higuchi after a family conflict that included his wife’s complaint to Congress. that she had been tortured by the security servicesand led her eldest daughter, Keiko, to become the country’s first lady, when she was only 19 years old.
Higuchi died in December 2021 at the age of 71, from lung cancer that he suffered in recent years.
Fujimori’s supporters admire him for having defeated the terrorist groups Sendero Luminoso and MRTA during his administration, and for having stopped the “hyperinflation” that he inherited from the first government of Alan García (1985-1990).
However, during his mandate, serious human rights violations were also committed and the largest corruption network in Peruvian history was created, led by his “shadow” advisor Vladimiro Montesinos, who is also imprisoned.
With the dissemination, in September 2000, of a video in which Montesinos was seen giving money to an opposition congressman, he was forced to announce that he was going to call new elections, in which he assured that he would not appear.
Two months later, he escaped from the country and resigned from the Presidency through a fax sent from Japan, where he remained until 2005, when he traveled to Chile, which extradited him to Peru in 2007.
The former ruler served his sentence since 2009 in a police prison in Lima adapted exclusively for him and which, according to his opponents, was a “golden prison” that did not compare to the conditions of the rest of the country’s prison population and where he continually received his family and supporters.
In that prison he has progressively gained fellow inmates and now shares it with Alejandro Toledo, his main opponent at the end of his term, and Pedro Castillo, whose coup message reminded many of the one delivered by Fujimori in 1992.
During the last few years, “the Chinese” underwent surgery six times for a precancerous condition in the tongue, known as leukoplakia, and also faced stomach, vascular, blood pressure and lung problems.
In 2017, then-president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski pardoned him on the grounds that a medical board had determined that he suffered from a “progressive illness, degenerative and incurable” and that the prison conditions implied serious risk to his life.
Subsequent investigations indicated that the pardon was granted as a result of an apparent political agreement with the former president’s youngest son, the then legislator Kenji Fujimori, to prevent the impeachment from corruption accusations against Kuczynski, who finally resigned from office in March 2018. .
The presidential pardon was later annulled by a judge and Fujimori had to return to prison, after Kuczynski left office and Kenji was ousted by Congress in the midst of a tough political confrontation with his sister Keiko.
In October 2021, He underwent a heart catheterization in an exclusive clinic in Lima, to relieve an obstruction in an artery, and in November he was hospitalized again for complications from pulmonary fibrosis.
On a legal level, the Peruvian Justice confirmed in January 2020 that Fujimori should be tried for the “Pativilca case”, in which the Colina group is attributed with the murder of six community leaders from that town in the north of the Lima region.
Last December, another court determined that the former president should be tried for allegations of forced sterilizations committed during his regime, which is why a request to extend his extradition from Chile was awaited.
The controversy surrounding his figure has reached two of his four children, considered his political heirs: three-time presidential candidate Keiko, awaiting the start of a trial for alleged money laundering, and former legislator Kenji, sentenced to 54 months in prison for influence peddling.
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