The judicial viacrucis of the Fujimori 30 years after the self-coup | International

Alberto Fujimori in front of the Ministry of Economy one day after the self-coup on April 6, 1992.
Alberto Fujimori in front of the Ministry of Economy one day after the self-coup on April 6, 1992.Gustavo Ercole (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

On the night of April 5, 1992, the then president, Alberto Fujimori, closed Parliament and the Judiciary, brought tanks into the streets, and military officers began to tour the newsrooms of the main media outlets to control the news. That day began the ruler’s alliance with the armed forces, led de facto by presidential adviser Vladimiro Montesinos. The following year the regime approved a new Constitution that changed the economic model, privatized public companies and abolished labor rights. Three decades later, the balance of the so-called fujicoup it is less favorable than it was in the 90s and the autocrat’s heirs are struggling to stay in power.

The patriarch of the Fujimori family, sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison as the direct perpetrator of two massacres committed by a military detachment created by his administration, is also sentenced for theft and corruption and owes some 13 million dollars in civil compensation to the State. In addition, justice has yet to request the Supreme Court of Chile to authorize the judicial investigation of the former ruler for the thousands of forced sterilizations carried out by the Ministry of Health in the late 1990s. The autocrat fled from Peru in November 2000 , cornered by the videos documenting the corruption of his government, took refuge in Japan and then traveled to Chile, from where he was extradited in 2007 to face seven trials. For each additional litigation, Peru has requested a new extradition authorization from the Chilean justice system, in accordance with the agreement between the two countries.

His eldest daughter, Keiko Fujimori, has been a three-time presidential candidate and is facing legal proceedings for money laundering and obstruction of justice due to campaign contributions delivered by the transnational Odebrecht, not declared to the electoral authorities or the financial system. . The former congresswoman began her political life at the age of 18 as first lady when Fujimori separated from his wife, Susana Higuchi, who came to warn of the corruption of her brothers-in-law, who appropriated donations sent from Japan to the Government to be delivered by the poor people.

In the 1990s, the eldest of the Fujimori heirs took catwalk classes and one of her best friends was a fashion photographer. His face was on the cover of the entertainment magazine Stuff to which he gave an interview: “I would like to be colder so as not to suffer”, it was titled. Last week, Kyara Villanela, the eldest daughter of Keiko Fujimori, 14, was also chosen as the cover image, called Miss Fujimori. The teenager herself points out in the magazine that although she wants to have her own name and not be known only as “Keiko’s daughter”, she is also going to fight “against the attacks” on her family. A couple of weeks ago, when three magistrates of the Constitutional Court declared a habeas corpus valid to free Fujimori, her granddaughter published a post in social networks announcing that he was preparing to record videos on TikTok when his grandfather was released.

Elements of the Army guard the Government Palace on April 5, 1992.
Elements of the Army guard the Government Palace on April 5, 1992.AFP

Historian Rolando Rojas notes that the Fujimori follow a strategy to return to power, which is based on the destabilization of the governments in power “to show that they were a better option or that their opponents cannot govern or are just as corrupt.” However, the researcher from the Institute of Peruvian Studies believes that “if Keiko does not come to power, the continuity of the Fujimori in Peruvian politics ends.”

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Although in the 1992 polls the majority of the population supported the self-coup, the view has changed. According to the results of the 2021 elections, in which the leader of the Fujimori Popular Force participated, “there is a slight advantage for those who are against Fujimorism, its meaning for Peruvian democracy and, of course, against the blow”, comments Rojas. Although she notes that a strong sector still considers that it was necessary then.

In 1992, María Luisa Martínez was a correspondent in Peru for the Univisión network and was the only television reporter who, in the hours after the coup d’état, documented the events around the Government Palace, Congress, and the main newspapers. “What is the order?”, she asked Martínez to each group of soldiers that blocked her way. The journalist also maintains that the vision of the regime has changed. “It took Peruvians a long time to realize that along with the good things that Fujimori was able to do in his first government, there was a dark side. Until there was a video to show that corruption was widespread, Peruvians preferred to move on since the worst fear they experienced was terrorism, ”she says.

The reporter recalls that the April 5 coup was celebrated by many due to the context of hyperinflation and economic disaster that began in the 1980s, however, she assures that the Peruvian society is not a society that “necessarily likes a strong hand if there is some stability and you can work”. The state of emergency decreed at midnight on Monday by President Pedro Castillo to contain a wave of protests against the rise in the cost of living in several regions, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the self-coup, has had an authoritarian and unconstitutional echo. “This new social crisis is because everyone is badly hit economically and there is an inability to deal with the post-pandemic crisis. I don’t think people like to go back to the heavy hand, maybe just to fight crime, but not in their daily lives,” adds the journalist and former war correspondent.

This Tuesday, the victims of the cases of human rights violations committed by the Colina military detachment, created by Fujimori and Montesinos, and the victims of forced sterilizations had planned public activities in rejection of April 5 and 30 years of impunity and lack of justice, however, due to the ban on taking to the streets, they have been relegated to messages on Twitter and other social media.

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