The former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori He was released from prison this Wednesday after 16 years in prison for crimes against human rights and corruption. His release from the Barbadillo prison in the Ate district of Lima shocked his country and meant a lot the latest episode in a long political and legal battle about a leader who continues to inspire as much admiration as rejection in his country. Fujimori, 85, walked out of prison around half past five in the afternoon.
The day before, the Constitutional Court ordered the execution of the controversial pardon granted to him by the then president in 2017 Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
Although the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled against his release on several occasions, most recently on Tuesday evening, the Peruvian authorities finally decided to release him.
The cameras captured the moment of his departure. Looking frail, covered in a mask and hooked up to an oxygen tank, Fujimori hugged his children Keiko and Kenji and got into the car in which he and both of them drove to Keiko’s house in the San Borja district.
His tumultuous exit from the prison, where a crowd of reporters, television cameras and sympathizers made it difficult for the vehicle carrying a now-free Fujimori to pass with urging and some moments of tension, seemed to be a reflection of the situation of confusion in which he finds himself. Peru devoured. Surveys show that a 85% of Peruvians reject President Dina Boluartewhich has clung to power despite protests calling for immediate elections earlier this year and, according to international reports, the disproportionate use of force by the military and police has left fifty civilians dead.
In parallel, Congress is suffering from similar discredit, the country’s judiciary and prosecutors are waging open war, and the economy is sinking into a recession for which the government offers no solutions. After After Fujimori’s release, demonstrations under the slogan “Let everyone go” broke out again..
Fujimori’s departure has opened a new front for Boluarte. The victims of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta, the massacres carried out by the military as part of the dirty war against the Shining Path 25 people died and Fujimori was convicted for itthey shouted to heaven about the decision to release him.
As early as March 2022, the Constitutional Court confirmed the validity of the pardon for health reasons, which Kuczynski granted him in 2017when he needed the votes of Fujimorism in Congress to save his presidency, but then the government of Pedro Castillo He complied with the IIHR court’s decision preventing his release. So Boluarte was Castillo’s vice president and opposed Fujimori’s release and solidarity with the pain of the victims.
But as president, her board has not hesitated to move forward with the release now, despite voices from lawyers and analysts who have warned of the possible consequences Peru does not abide by the binding ruling of an international court of the system Inter-American Human Rights Committee, of which the country is a member. “With this decision, Peru is on the same level as Venezuela and Nicaragua,” he said. Diego Garcia-Sayanformer Minister of Justice and former judge of the Inter-American Court.
But that appears to have weighed less on Boluarte than the fact that, without his own faction in Congress, he needs the support of the Fujimori bench in Congress to stay in office. Although In the hours before his release from prison, the country was seethingThe president did not mention Fujimori’s fate and dedicated her public appearance that day to celebrating UNESCO’s recognition of ceviche as a world heritage site.
The figure of Fujimori continues to polarize public opinion. To his admirers, he was the strong leader who defeated the terrorists bloodthirsty from the Shining Path and brought order to an economy that had descended into chaos and hyperinflation; To his critics, he was a corrupt and criminal politician who completely disregarded democracy and human rights and implemented a harmful neoliberal economic model.
The importance that Peruvians attach to him has probably diminished somewhat over time, but the circumstances of his release have changed again Show that your family is one of the most influential and powerful in a country that has become accustomed to living in crises.