Humala Faces Pressure to Decide on Fujimori Pardon

Cardinal CiprianiPresident Ollanta Humala is coming under pressure to decide whether or not to grant a humanitarian pardon for ex-leader Alberto Fujimori.

In recent days, a number of political opponents and even the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Cipriani, a long-time Fujimori supporter, have said that it is time to make a decision.

Fujimori, 74, is serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights and corruption crimes. His family has requested a pardon from President Ollanta Humala, citing the former President’s poor health. He has undergone surgery several times in recent years to treat a tumor growth in his mouth that his family and doctors have previously said was cancerous.

Fujimori Alberto - 2011However, a medical report presented by a team of 12 specialists, who were commissioned by the pardons committee to evaluate Fujimori’s overall medical conditon, found that the former lesion area should continue under observation but that it is not  cancerous and poses no threat to his life.  Fujimori was diagnosed to be suffering from depression, but the five psychiatrists on the team disagreed on the severity. The report was submitted to the pardons committee in February, but its details only became public last week when it was leaked to the media.

Several human rights lawyers, politicians from Humala’s ruling Gana Peru party, and key jurists have said that Fujimori does not warrant a pardon because his health is not at risk and the conditions of his imprisonment pose no risk either (Fujimori is held in a suite of rooms separate from the main buildings at police barracks in north Lima, and he receives frequent visits from family members and friends).

Garcia, Alan - 2013But on Monday, former President Alan Garcia joined a growing number calling for Humala to announce his decision. “Let’s leave the cloudy area of indecision,” daily El Comercio reported Garcia saying. “Make a decision no or yes but don’t leave the issue in doubt.”

Garcia’s Aprista party supports a pardon, according to party stalwart Javier Velasquez. “His health could deteriorate and we can’t wait until he dies [in prison]. Our opinion is that he should be pardoned,” Velasquez said.

Garcia’s party helped elect President Fujimori, as his successor, in 1990 and has since worked closely with the Fujimori party at different times, including during Garcia’s second term in office, 2006-2011. 

Cardinal Cipriani, Lima’s controversial and ultra-conservative archbishop, has also called on Humala to announce his decision. “I think the pardon is sufficiently mature for a decision to be made,” Cipriani said during his Easter Sunday sermon at the cathedral, advising the President not to “hide behind the medical report or the Minister of Justice, Eda Rivas.”

Juan Luis Cipriani was auxiliary bishop and later archbishop of Ayacucho at the height of Peru’s internal conflict 1988-1998, when Ayacucho was the center of the conflict between the violent, Maoist-inspired insurgency and the Peruvian military. The often poor, rural and indigenous population of Ayacucho and throughout the Andean highlands bore the brunt of the abuses committed byboth sides.

However, Cipriani, who held a close relationship with the military command in Ayacucho, was and continues to be consistently hostile towards human rights groups, and accused many activists who pointed to violations during the Fujimori administration of being traitors. He also  rejects the Truth and Reconciliation Report, CVR, which recognizes that Shining Path was responsible for more than half of the deaths but also places the blame squarely on the military forces for at least a third of the atrocities and includes specific crimes in the 1990s that were committed with the knowledge of President Fujimori, and for which Fujimori is serving his prison sentence.

Ronald Gamarra, a state prosecutor during Fujimori’s landmark trials, said Cipriani “seems to be more Alberto Fujimori’s attorney than the head of the Church in Peru.” 

Justice Minister Eda Rivas said the pardon commission has almost completed its work. “The commission is working with a lot of care. We are in the final stretch, and I ask that you have patience,” she said.

3 Comments

  1. Shooting persons aiding Terrorists cannot in all fairness, be considersd “human Rights Violations”…..HRW and the OTHER “human Richts” activists are mostly Marxist supporters of terrorism, although they wouldn’t catagorize their behavior like that…but their actions demonstrate this.

    Perhaps Peruanos have FORGOTTEN the car bombs in Miraflores, the destruction of Electricity and communications towers amost every night…..the kidnappings and massacres in the countryside by MRTA and SL, ….etc. Perhaps they have FORGOTTEN the war with Ecuador, the monetary crisis, when a wheelbarrow of money might get you some bread and a few vegetables……REMEMBER?????

    Fujimori, with all of his shortcomings…..SOLVED THESE PROBLEMS….he was the Savior of Peru….hate him or love him, and THIS is his ‘reward”….to die in prison?

    THINK ABOUT IT.

  2. Fujimori must stay were he is. He was found guilty and sentenced for crimes committed against the Peruvian people. He and his friends also stole billions from Peru. If anything his buddy Garcia should be in there with him, as he started the civil war and bankrupted the country. None of these guys shouldn’t be admired, unless the folks who like them , also shared in the benefits of the corruption these guys supported. Other countries have worse corruption, but Fujimori and Garcia were trying for first place in running a dishonest government. Cardinal Cipriani should be retired to some remote monastery, to reflect on what Christ tried to teach humanity. I would suspect if Christ came back today, this cardinal would be out there with a hammer and nails, trying to put that radical, peace loving guy up on a cross again.

    • Honestly do u REMBER how peru was previous to Fujimori taking over?? I do !!!!Fujimori was a savior people make mistakes honestly his intentions were good I think a few rotten apples spoiled that free FUJIMORI PERU IS a much safer and more successfull country because of Albert Funimori look around at the world specifically the UNITED STATES we are in recession Peru is thriving right now free the man I have allot of respect for what he did for his country maybe Peruvians should REMBER that

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