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Fujimori’s health takes unexpected turn

December 14th, 2009 · No Comments

(Members of former president Alberto Fujimori’s political party interviewed by local press.  Center: Congressman Carlos Raffo. Photo: Praxis) 

The health of former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, sentenced to 25 years in prison for human rights violations, suffered a sudden setback several days ago, requiring immediate medical attention from doctors at the Institute of Legal Medicine.

Fujimori reportedly had strong stomach pains and a sharp increase of blood pressure, resulting in severe nausea, which set on while gardening in his specially made prison.

The doctors in charge said that these symptoms first took hold five months ago and have reappeared sporadically since then.  Though the symptoms produce discomfort, the doctors in care of the former president’s health assure that his life is not at risk.

However, Fujimori’s personal doctor, Alejandro Aguinaga, who is also a congressman for the pro-Fujimori party, indicated that the former president will need to undergo a series of exams over the next few days in order to determine what has caused this deterioration in health.  For these procedures, Fujimori will be transferred to a specialized medical center.

“It is absolutely necessary to control blood pressure because if this rises to elevated levels, it could be extremely jeopardizing and his state is very delicate,” Aguinaga said.  “In the [National Institute of Neoplastic Diseases] there are excellent professionals and the have cutting-edge laboratories, which is why attention for the former president is completely guaranteed,” he added.

Sources at the National Penitentiary Institute said, extraofficially, that they will only authorize Fujimori’s transfer if the doctors assigned deem it necessary to have external care.

Meanwhile, it seems that any opinion given by personal or other doctors will not be considered relevant.

In recent days, those who most visit the former president in his prison are his daughter, Keiko Fujimori, as well as fellow party members and congressmen, Alejandro Aguinaga and Carlos Raffo.

There were speculations among members of the local press that the purpose of these meetings is to develop political strategies of how to face the verdict currently being reviewed by Peru’s Supreme Court.

The Transitory Criminal Court presiding over the sentence’s appeal will soon decide on whether to uphold, overturn or modify the 25-year prison sentence against the former president for crimes against humanity. 

Meanwhile, members of the pro-Fujimori party as well sympathizers have been reportedly meeting in Keiko’s house over the last few weeks in order to design a political plan for the presidential elections that will take place in 2011.

Fujimori’s encounters with his daughter and fellow party members in his prison cell seem to indicate that the former leader is still an important presence in the party as well as in the design of political strategies for his daughter in her presidential campaign.

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