Monday, May 16

The Constitutional Court of Peru orders the freedom of Alberto Fujimori

Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) will be released in the coming days after the Constitutional Court (TC) issued a ruling this Thursday that restores the humanitarian pardon he received in 2017, when former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski allegedly negotiated that favor in exchange for the votes of Fujimori parliamentarians not to be removed from office.

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The resolution of the agency will not only open the doors of the prison to the former president, 83 years old and sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity, but has also confronted his supporters and detractors again. The division has been transferred to the court itself, which has approved the release by the decisive vote of its president, Augusto Ferrero, after a tie of three votes in favor and three against.

In the upper echelons of power it was also received with indignation and rejection, to the point that the government of President Pedro Castillo announced that it will resort to international organizations to try to reverse it.

In the midst of this controversy, Fujimori may be released next Monday or Tuesday, when the judicial and legal procedures to comply with the resolution are completed, according to his defense attorney, Cesar Nakazaki.

While the former president’s followers celebrated the decision, and dozens of them reached the outskirts of the Lima prison where he is serving his sentence, his eldest daughter, Keiko Fujimori, affirmed that the measure “is justice” and that the family will wait for “the next steps” so that the Judiciary complies with the resolution of the TC.

The three-time presidential candidate also said that she will not comment for now “on the various opinions that they have heard” against her father’s release, but assured that opponents of the measure “are within their rights.”

Ferrero’s casting vote decided the annulment of the judicial resolution that suspended the pardon granted in 2017 to Fujimori, after the vote of the “habeas corpus” appeal that requested that measure was tied at three votes in favor and three against.

In this sense, the TC declared founded an appeal filed by the lawyer Gregorio Parco Alarcón against the resolution of the Supreme Court that in 2018 annulled the pardon granted to Fujimori on December 24, 2017 by the then president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski ( 2016-2018).

The Judiciary had annulled that pardon on the grounds that it did not meet the legal requirements and lacked legal effects, so Fujimori had to return to the prison of the police station in eastern Lima where he is serving his sentence.

Currently, the pardon is being investigated by the courts, since the Prosecutor’s Office considers that it was the product of a negotiation between Kuczynski and Fujimori’s youngest son, Kenji, who was a congressman at the time, so that Fujimorist legislators would vote against a request for dismissal of the then president.

In this sense, the decision of the TC also generated the rejection of hundreds of citizens, who gathered in the historic center of Lima to protest peacefully, together with the relatives of the victims of the crimes for which Fujimori was sentenced.

“As relatives of the victims of the Cantuta case, in particular, and of all the cases of the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori, we are outraged by this situation that resolves to give him freedom illegally,” former Culture Minister Gisela Ortiz told Efe. who is the sister of one of the students kidnapped, tortured and disappeared at La Cantuta University in Lima in 1992.

At first, the resolution also motivated the rejection of President Castillo and the Prime Minister, Aníbal Torres, a position that was later ratified from the legal point of view by the Vice Minister of Justice, Juan Carrasco, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cesar Landa.

After meeting in the Government Palace with the ruler, Carrasco announced that the Executive will go “to international channels, to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CourtIDH) to, through these means, reverse this ruling”

Landa, a renowned constitutionalist who presided over the TC between 2006 and 2008, maintained, for his part, that the decision “is not valid, since it goes against the decisions” of the Inter-American Court and, therefore, “it should be reversed” by that court.

Fujimori was convicted as the direct perpetrator (with command of the facts) of the Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres, committed in 1991 and 1992, respectively, by the undercover military group Colina, as well as for the kidnappings of a businessman and a journalist after the coup that took place in 1992.