April 1, 2009
159th session. Alberto Fujimori spoke for an hour and 45 minutes (with a 30 minute recess) about his policies of pacification. Though the Court had requested that he only address the crimes that are subject of this trial — the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres, and the kidnapping of journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer — Fujimori avoided discussing them.
Fujimori emphasized that he directly headed the counter-terrorism policy and when he began to govern, he found a country “not at the edge of abyss, rather at the bottom of it.”
I. Fujimori’s arguments
Fujimori began his arguments in his own defense.
Fujimori and the family legacy:
“The trial against me being concluded, after more than a year and three months, more than 150 sessions and about 90 witnesses and 500 documents that have been presented in this courtroom, I want to reiterate what I have said from the beginning… Nobody has been able to show any evidence that condemns me, and they have not been able to since it simply does not exist… because as I said from the beginning, I am innocent… I know my legacy will remain… not only through my physical work but also through the legacy of peace and development, of justice and inclusion… a legacy for the present and future that, I do not doubt, my daughter Keiko will continue and my son Kenji will keep fighting for.”
Fujimori claimed he was a great strategist in the fight against subversive groups (which coincides with the theory of the Public Prosecutor’s Office): “In this way, we established a direct connection between the government and the people, and later the police and armed forces. United as one heart in the fight against terrorism. I have been and am a man of action. My fight was a merciless one…it was a group of military officials that boycotted my strategy of pacification…I devised a new strategy with terrorism…I planned the repossession of the prisons…I organized and armed the rondas campesinas…I conceived the idea to establish the Civic Action Bases.”
It is important to remember that according to the testimonies of former Colina Military Detachment members in this hearing, the civic action base in La Cantuta was indispensable in detaining and later executing the students and professor from the university.
What Fujimori did not say:
Though his allegations should have disproved the accusations made by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Fujimori did not explain why he allowed the crimes committed by the Colina Military Detachment to happen.
Neither did he state why he protected Colina members from investigations headed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and through the Amnesty Law rather than sanctioning them for supposedly disobeying his pacification strategy.
“Those who sentence me, try for a moment to imagine that hell and not attempt to civilize it from a distance, as so many have been generals after the battle.”
II. Outside the courtroom
Members of Congress for the Fujimori party who were present included Keiko Fujimori, Alejandro Aguinaga, Luisa María Cuculiza, Martha Moyano, Cecilia Isabel Chacón, Carlos Raffo and Luis Delgado Aparicio. The former president’s son Kenyi Fujimori was also present.
Family members of the victims:
The family members of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacre victims were present at the hearing.
Outside the police quarters:
Almost 100 protestors with their faces painted orange were outside the police quarters where Fujimori faces trial and already serves a six-year sentence for abuse of power. The protestors manifested their support to the ex-president and watched the trial on a big screen, transmitted by television signals. This session was aired by various channels, including the state-owned television channel, rather than just the cable news channel “N.”
This group of people were instigated by former Col. Pedro Rejas Tataje, and were transported in buses hired especially for this purpose.
III. Next session
The next trial session will take place on April 3, where Fujimori will conclude his final arguments.