Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado

Accountability in Action :: Rindiendo cuentas

Fujimori on Trial :: Fujimori procesado random header image

-CONTEXT- Pact or coincidence?

August 11th, 2008 · No Comments

peru21-sello-pacto.jpgThe Peruvian Congress voted for Javier Velásquez Quesquén, candidate from the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance, or APRA — the political party of Peru’s president Alan García — as its president in the July 26, 2008 elections, giving the APRA control of Congress for the third consecutive year. But since the APRA does not have a majority in Congress, their success was sealed with 13 votes volunteered by pro-Fujimori congress members — a move that has local media and analysts wondering what strings might be attached.

The losing opposition candidate, Víctor Andrés García Belaúnde, appeared on the local news analysis program Prensa Libre on July 30, claiming that the fujimoristas seek a “benign sentence” for their leader, former President Alberto Fujimori, in giving the APRA their votes. Similarly, analyst Francisco Eguiguren wrote in his opinion column in Perú21 that the fujimoristas need an alliance with the APRA “since only the government could give something concrete to improve Alberto Fujimori’s future.”

Political analyst Martín Tanaka seemed to think that a favorable ruling for Fujimori is “somewhat excessive, though we should be attentive.” But, he continued, “on the other hand, it is key to see until when Jorge del Castillo serves as vice president and who will replace him.” Since Vice President Jorge Del Castillo — who was kidnapped during the April 5, 1992 coup d’état under Fujimori’s government — testified against Fujimori in the former president’s human rights trial, he has lost favor with the pro-Fujimori movement. Moreover, on July 27, local newspaper La Razón, known for its pro-Fujimori leaning, sported the headline “Del Castillo’s head served on a platter to fujimoristas in exchange for votes.” Thus it seems possible that the APRA has offered the first vice-presidency in the executive branch to the fujimoristas. Del Castillo, however, who continues as vice president, has forcefully refuted that his resignation and replacement was negotiated. 

Another analyst, Carlos Basombrío, pointed out that the congressional elections ran “parallel” to a separate issue involving a dancer who posed naked on a horse, using the Peruvian flag as a saddle. The defense minister responded to the photos, which had been published in a local tabloid, by asserting that the national flag should not be used as a “tampon or underwear” and filed a claim against the dancer for defaming the flag — a felony in Peru. Rights organization APRODEH (Association Pro Human Rights) seemed to think this was used as a smokescreen by the Defense Ministry to distract the public from more important issues “such as the campesino killings in Putis and [the common grave found in the army quarters] Los Cabitos, or how former Colina Group agents are still in the army.”

larazon-cabeza-castillo.jpgPart of the speculation surrounding the fujimoristas’ decision is due to their about change from their previous assurance that they would not vote for the APRA candidate. On July 21 the front page of La Razón declared “Keiko, Lourdes and Ollanta unite against the Apra.” Furthermore, on the same day, fujimorista Congressman Alejandro Aguinaga — who also serves as Alberto Fujimori’s personal doctor — stated on a local news program that “Fujimorismo will definitely vote for the opposition. It will not vote for the APRA candidate. In the case that we don’t with the chosen candidate, fujimorismo will abstain.” Congressman Aguinaga was made first vice minister in the congressional elections.

Local newspaper Perú21 published on July 26 that Interior Minister Luis Alva Castro — of the APRA party — visited Fujimori in his specially created prison cell in the Special Operations Office (DIROES) on July 19, in order to discuss the terms of the alleged agreement between the APRA and fujimoristas. The minister has denied this visit, but Perú21 assured that they had sources from both the police and within the National Penitentiary Institute confirming it. Newspaper La Razón similarly affirmed the visit, “even though both parts deny it” and claimed that Alva Castro said the government would offer to “support a request for house arrest [for Fujimori] and a pardon if condemned.”

Editor-in-chief of Perú21, Augusto Álvarez Rodrich, recently took a look at “many actions, both old and recent” that give evidence of a pact between the two political forces. In addition to the fujimoristas’ votes for APRA and the election of Aguinaga as Congress’ first vice minister, Rodrich also mentioned the supposedly forced resignation Luis Bromley from the Institute of Legal Medicine (IML) and the favorable change in Fujimori’s penitentiary regime, as well as the possible resignation of Public Prosecutor Avelino Guillén — who represents the state in Fujimori’s human rights trial — in the near future. According to Rodrich this proves that “for the APRA, the end justifies the means. Any mean.”

(Luis Bromley in Fujimori’s human rights trial) 

Much controversy has surrounded Luis Bromley’s resignation since he, as the IML head doctor, consistently affirmed Fujimori’s good health during his human rights trial when fujimoristas and the ex-president’s lawyer argued otherwise. Perú21 reported that though Bromley initially described his resignation as a necessary change, he “later had to admit that the situation ‘coincides’ with ‘other external factors that don’t have much to do with the Institute [of Legal Medicine].’” Since April of this year, fujimorista congressmen Santiago Fujimori — the former president’s brother — and Alejandro Aguinaga have requested for Bromley to leave the IML.

Furthermore, as fujimoriontrial.org already mentioned, Fujimori has been changed from a special to ordinary penitentiary regime through a resolution in June 2008 that was never published in the official newspaper “El Peruano,” leaving the new measure undiscovered until July. The change in regime currently allows Fujimori to receive visits from anyone he authorizes, as in the case of his birthday party on July 28 with live music from Uruguayan music group Los Iracundos, reportedly a personal favorite of the ex-president. The front page of local newspaper La República stated that “thanks to the APRA government, [Fujimori] has parties and is visited by artists, painting teachers, politicians, advisors, publicists and even witches.” 

General Attorney Gladys Echaíz told La República,“Fujimori must be treated like other prisoners in his condition.” This issue continues to be discussed and investigated to date.

Was there a negotiation and what was it? Would it be possible for the fujimoristas to get a pardon for Fujimori in the case he is condemned?

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