Peruvian media reported that citizens are participating in a sit-in and other forms of protest to show displeasure for President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) pardoning formerly incarcerated ex-President Alberto Fujimori.
Hundreds of demonstrators flooded the streets of Lima, on Christmas Eve, to protest PPK's action. The protesters were armed with signs that read "pardon is illegal" and "illegal pardon is impunity," as well as other banners boldly displaying "insult", "traitor" and "accomplice of the criminal”, to denounce the pardon.
"We are totally opposed to the pardon because Fujimori is a war criminal. He sterilized women against their will, had union leaders and journalists killed," Alessandra Guinea told Reuters.
Among the demonstrators were relatives of victims of crimes for which Fujimori was convicted.
"Total indignation. We will never forget. We do have memories. We are Peruvians conscious of what is happening. We have to go out to the streets. We can't just complain. It's time to get out there," one protester said to the agency.
While another added: "We believe the pardon was carried out in an illegal manner. The medical report that supposedly sanctioned this was a fraud. The reality is that this sadly was a political agreement between the Fujimorists and the current government of PPK. So we've come out to reject all that today."
PPK's pardon of Fujimori also sparked wide-spread outrage and strong disapproval among politicians.
Former Peruvian presidential candidate and head of Nuevo Peru, Veronika Mendoza, rejected PPK's decision.
"Mr @ppkamigo, what he has just done is a vile betrayal of the fatherland, in exchange for saving his skin he has negotiated with Fujimorismo, an infamous pardon for the corrupt and murderous Alberto Fujimori, for you everything is negotiated and sold, once more has acted as a 'vendepatria'," she posted on Twitter.
She added that the humanitarian pardon from the Peruvian head of state shows that “the political class negotiates under the table to the detriment of the people and their rights.”
The relatives of the victims said they will pursue international options to ensure that Fujimori serves his entire sentence.
On Sunday, PPK pardoned Fujimori, commuting the former dictator's sentence. The Press Office of the Government Palace announced the pardon through an official statement to which Minister of Justice Enrique Mendoza was a signatory.
Fujimori was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity between 1990 and 2000. He is expected to be released within hours.
According to the official presidential statement, the pardon was given for humanitarian reasons, stating Fujimori suffers from a "progressive, degenerative and incurable disease."