Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

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Analysis: Fujimori’s defense strategy

April 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

larepublica.jpgOn Friday, March 28, 2008, Peruvian newspaper La República published an interview with journalist Umberto Jara, who testified in the human rights trial of Alberto Fujimori that same Friday. Jara wrote the book Ojo por ojo about the Colina group — death squad composed of military officials — based on his interviews with Santiago Martin Rivas, chief of Colina’s operations.

When Jara was asked if he had any conclusions regarding the trial, he responded:

“Using denial as a strategy has been a huge mistake. [Fujimori’s defense] is trying to deny the undeniable. After 10 years of [Fujimori] showing himself as a president who was involved in every decision — a president the country saw traveling, participating, questioning ministers, driving tractors in floods and who was in everything. Now he tries to tell this same country that he didn’t know anything, that he was outside of it all. It’s a huge mistake that no one believes.”

Previously, Carlín, famous Peruvian cartoonist, depicted this sentiment the following way:

    clarin-fuji.jpg

(Caricature courtesy of Carlos Tovar, originally published Dec. 18, 2007 in La República Perú)

Left side:       “I found the country in collapse! I saved it! I gave it peace! I personally directed! I, I and I!”

Right side:     – “So you didn’t authorize the Colina group?”

– “I was completely unaware, I didn’t know anything, I don’t remember, I don’t have the least idea.”

Carlín’s caricature alludes to Fujimori’s speech on the first day of trials when he rejected the charges made against him and his later testimony that he didn’t know about Colina (despite several, very public press investigations that demonstrate the contrary).

Is the strategy of Fujimori’s defense effective? Is it true that he was unaware of the Colina group and their activities? Should he have been responsible for investigating the news reports that came out after the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta murders? 

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