Thousands of Peruvians took to the streets on Monday to protest against the pardon granted to the former president Alberto Fujimori, with many calling it part of a backroom deal struck to protect the current president from impeachment on corruption charges.
The Sunday pardon came three days after abstentions by lawmakers from a party led by Fujimori’s children caused the failure of a vote to impeach the president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Fujimori, 79, was serving a 25-year sentence over the deaths of 25 people in a campaign against the leftist Shining Path terrorist group. Roughly 5,000 people protested across the country carrying posters with Fujimori’s face and the words “murderer” and “thief”. Fujimori, president from 1990 to 2000, is remembered for stabilising the economy and defeating the Shining Path, and for human rights violations and corruption. In a message to the nation late on Monday, Kuczynski called for an “effort at reconciliation”, urging the protesters to “turn the page” and not be carried away by hate and “the negative emotions inherited from our past”. Meanwhile Fujimori sought forgiveness from Peruvians “from the bottom of my heart” on Tuesday for shortcomings during his rule, and thanked Kuczynski for granting him a Christmas pardon.(theguardian)…[+]