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Peru: Kenji Fujimori trial begins

Peru: Kenji Fujimori trial begins

Page 12 in Peru

By CarlosNoriega

From Lima.

Another member of the Fujimori clan is put on the dock and could go to prison. This time it’s about the ex-congressman Kenji Fujimori, the youngest of the four children of the imprisoned ex-dictator Alberto Fujimori. This Wednesday the trial of Kenji began for trying to buy votes in Congress in 2018 to save him from the then president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of an impeachment process in Parliament. Before, Kuczynski had pardoned his father, an illegal pardon that was later annulled by the judicial authorities. Kenji is charged with influence peddling and bribery, and the prosecution is seeking a 12-year prison sentence. Along with him, two other former Fujimori legislators and one of his advisers are on trial.

Family brand

The corruption is in a brand of the Fujimori family. The former dictator has been incarcerated -in a VIP prison- since 2007, when he was extradited from Chile, sentenced to 25 years for crimes against humanity, and also sentenced on various charges of corruption. Keiko, the eldest daughter, a three-time defeated presidential candidate, is accused of money laundering and obstruction of justice for financing her electoral campaigns with millions of black dollars delivered by powerful businessmen, and in the coming months he will have to face a judicial process with a request from the prosecution of 30 years in prison. For this case, he had already spent several months in jail under preventive detention. Now it is the turn of the youngest of a family clan that is synonymous with authoritarianism and corruption.

The prosecution’s evidence against Kenji for vote buying in Congress stems from a lurid family history of ambition and betrayal. It was his sister Keiko who pulled the strings to expose the operation mounted by Kenji to buy votes in favor of Kuczynski. In March 2018, a request to remove President Kuczynski was promoted in Congress, it was the second attempt, and Kenji began to buy votes to support him. His sister decided to rat him out.

War between brothers

The history of this war between brothers motivated by the lust for power had begun months before. In December 2017, Keiko, who controlled the Congress where he had an absolute majority, promoted a first attempt to remove Kuczynski, who had taken office in July 2016, for “moral incapacity.” The president’s dark deals with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which occurred years ago when he had been minister, had been denounced. But Keiko was not worried about the issue of corruption, what she wanted was to destroy the president with whom she agreed a lot politically but with whom she wanted to take revenge for having defeated her in the presidential election by just over 40 thousand votes – defeat than ever she accepted, just as she has not accepted her recent defeat before the current president Pedro Castillo, and with that coup she sought to gain more power when she was threatened by the judicial investigations against her for laundering. Kenji then led an internal rebellion of ten Fujimori lawmakers who voted in favor of Kuczynski, votes that saved the president. In exchange for those votes, Kenji had negotiated with the president his father’s pardon, which was given days later, on Christmas night. Keiko erupted in fury. His brother gained space within Fujimorism and with his father free and aligned as he was with Kenji, his favorite son, he saw his leadership in the Fujimori party threatened.

Three months later, in March 2018, Keiko saw an opportunity to fight back. For the second time the removal of Kuczynski was promoted in Congress and the outcome was uncertain. Keiko learned that her brother was seeking to break his bench again by capturing new votes to once again save Kuczynski, whom Kenji had firmly supported since he had pardoned his father. Keiko sent one of his congressmen as a decoy. Lawmaker Moisés Mamani was willing to negotiate his vote and met with Kenji and two other congressmen who operated alongside him. Mamani was offered support from the Executive with greater budgets and works for his region, and government positions for his relatives. They assured him that other congressmen had already accepted that deal. Mamani recorded everything with a hidden camera and microphone. The Fujimori party led by Keiko called a press conference to broadcast the videos in which Kenji appeared trying to bribe, on behalf of the government, a congressman to buy his vote. Days later, Kuczynski resigned from the presidency. And shortly after, Kenji would be outraged from Congress with the votes controlled by Keiko, and the prosecution opened an investigation.


A few months ago, the brothers at war reconciled, at least for the cameras, as part of the presidential election campaign that Keiko ended up losing again. Now Kenji must face the courts and the possibility of going to prison thanks to the evidence of the bribes he offered obtained and made public by his sister Keiko. She waits her turn to be in front of the courts. Corruption, crimes, courts and jail, the fate of the Fujimori that has a new chapter.


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