LIMA – The former Peruvian dictator Alberto Fujimori must return to prison. The Supreme Court in Lima decided yesterday to reverse the pardon Fujimori received in December, over health issues. In a video today, shot at the hospital, Fujimori begged authorities to revise the Supreme Courts decision: “Please, don´t kill me. My heart won´t support going back to prison.”
Alberto Fujimori had been sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009, for ordering the death of 25 people during his term as president of Peru. Last year, in December, he had been taken to the hospital after suffering severe health problems. The then president Pablo Kuczynski had pardoned the former dictator on these health issues.
This pardon was possibly politically motivated, as Kuczynski was facing an impeachment threat from the opposition led by Fujimori´s daughter Keiko. After the pardon, Kuczynski managed to survive as president, but later he had to resign over different corruption cases he was involved in, such as the widespread Odebrecht scandal. As the Supreme Court reversed the pardon, authorities went to the hospital to arrest the former dictator.
Fujimori begs: “Please don´t kill me”
In a video released today, shot from his hospital bed, Alberto Fujimori has begged authorities to not send him back to prison. “I want to tell the authorities and the politicians: please don´t use me as a political weapon because I no longer have the strength to resist,”
He continues by asking the the current president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, and the members of the Supreme Court: “Please don´t kill me. If I go back to prison my heart will not endure it, I’m too weak to go through the same thing again.”
Popular despite human rights violations
Despite the human rights violations during Alberto Fujimori´s term, who was president between 1990 and 2000, the former dictator and his daughter Keiko, remain popular in Peru. Alberto Fujimori managed to put an end to the violence committed by Maoist movement Shining Path, using violence himself.
Massacres such as the one in the Lima neighborhood Barrios Altos, where fifteen people, among them an 8-year old boy, where killed by a death squad consisting of militaries and the forced sterilization campaign Fujimori led against indigenous women in Peru, have turned the Fujimori presidency into one of the darkest years in the Peruvian modern history.
When finally sentenced for his involvement in the killings in 2009, many Peruvians thought Fujimori would remain until the rest of his days in prison. The pardon in December from the then president came as a surprise and was widely celebrated by Fujimori´s supporters. When the Supreme Court in Lima reversed the pardon yesterday, those supporters, led by his daughter Keiko, rallied outside his house in protest.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.