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News > Latin America

Over 230 Renowned Peru Writers Slam 'Shameful' Fujimori Pardon

  • People march against President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's pardon for former president Alberto Fujimori in Lima, Peru, Dec. 28, 2017.

    People march against President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's pardon for former president Alberto Fujimori in Lima, Peru, Dec. 28, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 December 2017

The authors supported the protests against the pardon, which they said was a political calculation by the president rather than an act of compassion.

More than 230 Peruvian writers, including 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, signed a letter Friday against the "illegal and irresponsible behavior" of Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski for pardoning the country’s former dictator Alberto Fujimori.

UN: Fujimori Pardon is Major Setback for Rule of Law in Peru

"Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and corruption. He was responsible for a coup d'état as well as the dismantling of our institutions,” read the letter that was delivered to the news agency EFE Friday. “His pardon demonstrates the lack of appreciation for the dignity and equality before the law, and the right to memory."

The signatories, including Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Fernando Iwasaki, Alonso Cueto and Alfredo Pita, and other well-known Peruvian writers, stressed that "President Kuczynski's gesture brings shame and disgrace," to his nation.

The letter comes just few days after the president issued a pardon for Fujimori before less than halfway through his 25-year sentence over crimes against humanity under his 10-year presidency between 1990 and 2000.

The writers further stressed that "it escapes nobody that these measures, in favor of the former president, are not acts of compassion but the most crude and cynical political calculations."

“It is no secret for anyone that Fujimori is not suffering from any degenerative or terminal disease", the writers said and added that therefore the pardon is in fact "a treacherous agreement between political forces interested in controlling the effects of cases of corruption that involve them, as well as perpetuating injustice and impunity."

The president’s pardon came just days after Peru’s Congress narrowly voted to not impeach the president for allegedly receiving nearly US$800,000 in kickbacks from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

What Were the Crimes of Alberto Fujimori in Peru?

Impeachment failed after Fujimori’s son, Kenji, and 10 other "Fujimorista" legislators abstained from the vote, a move seen by many as a political maneuver to gain Fujimori's pardon.

Fujimori is linked to forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the war against insurgent groups Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. The former president also directed the forced sterilization of approximately 300,000 women between 1996 and 2000.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Peru over the past few days in protests against the pardon and calling for new general elections and saying that Fujimori’s release was part of a deal between the president and the pro-Fujimori lawmakers to shield him and other politicians from the courriotion scandal.

The writers concluded their letter by saying that they support "the citizens protests, as well as letters published by other groups and associations" in the country.

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