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News > Latin America

Peru's President Isolated as Another Government Official Resigns Over Fujimori Pardon

  • Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

    Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 December 2017

Since President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski granted a "humanitarian" pardon to former dictator Alberto Fujimori, several cabinet members have stepped down.

Ad honorem presidential advisor Felipe Ortiz has became the latest government official to leave the government of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, known as PKK, after his controversial pardon granted to former dictator Alberto Fujimori.

Over 230 Renowned Peru Writers Slam 'Shameful' Fujimori Pardon

Resignations began just hours after PPK announced the pardon. Former Director General for Human Rights Roger Rodriguez was the first to submit his resignation letter.

"Just as there are judicial and ethical reasons to support that no person should die in prison, there are also reasons to argue with certainty that former President Alberto Fujimori did not qualify for the granting of a pardon," he said.

Within two days, Daniel Sanchez and Katherine Valenzuela, high officials in the Multisectoral Commision for Peace, Reparations and Reconciliation, stepped down. Sanchez denounced an "essential incompatibility" between promoting policies for reparations and at the same time freeing those who "contributed to Peruvian society's suffering."

That same day, Forensic Investigations and Registry Director Victor Quinteros left the Justice Ministry, calling the pardon "an arbitrary act, approved without any regards or respect for the victims' families."

Then came the former actor and Minister of Culture Salvador del Solar, who did not provide specific reasons. However, hours before, he made an announcement that he reportedly received numerous demands from human rights activists and artists to hand in his resignation. That same day, PKK lost another one of his advisers, Maximo San Roman, who left the government in opposition to the pardon. 

PPK's legislative bloc also sustained losses as three legislators quit the party. Peru's Radio and Television Institute lost a journalist, a writer and its executive president.  

The wave of resignations accompany popular indignation in the streets. A day after the pardon was granted, 5,000 Peruvians gathered in Lima to demand PKK's resignation and the pardon's nullity.

Peru: 4 Detained in ‘Fujimori Never Again’ Nationwide March

On Thursday, a nationwide mobilization gathered at least 30,000 Peruvians who reject Fujimori's pardon and the political corruption that enabled the pardon.

Fujimori's pardon came just after Congress narrowly voted to not impeach PKK for allegedly receiving nearly US$800,000 in kickbacks from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. 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.  

International organizations have also lamented PKK's decision. U.N. officials described the pardon as "a major setback for the rule of law in Peru."

Fujimori was convicted by the Inter-American Human Rights Court on 2009 for crimes against humanity. He is linked to forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in the war against insurgent groups Shining Path and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, and the forced sterilization of approximately 300,000 women between 1996 and 2000.

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