The Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori leaves in a wheelchair the clinic in Lima where he was hospitalized for 12 days, during which time he was pardoned.
The Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori released on Thursday the clinic in Lima where he was hospitalized for 12 days for heart problems, benefited by a controversial pardon that the families of the victims seek to annul in international courts.
The 79-year-old ex-ruler left the Japanese-Peruvian Centennial Clinic accompanied by his youngest son and legislator Kenji Fujimori, the architect of his release, after purging only 12 of the 25 years in prison for his conviction for crimes against humanity under his government (1990- 2000).
Fujimori left in a wheelchair at 9:40 pm (0240 GMT Friday), raising his right hand to greet some supporters gathered in front of the clinic, and left in a black SUV accompanied by his son.
Almost an hour later, the car entered a private condominium in La Molina, a wealthy eastern district of the capital.
There he will stay in the house of businessman Aldo Kruger, son of Germán Kruger, who paid the residence where the ex-governor was under house arrest almost two years in Chile, a source in his environment told AFP.
Shortly after, her daughter Keiko Fujimori posted on Twitter a photo in the garden of the house in which the former president sits with his four children: Hiro, Sachi, Kenji and her.
„We are very happy to welcome our father,“ Keiko wrote, who had not shown himself in public for nine months with Kenji, with whom he has had political disagreements.
– „It’s calm“ –
Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori greets fans who were waiting for him to leave a clinic in Lima, where he received a pardon.
While the vehicle carrying Fujimori was escorted by two police cars and was followed by a large entourage of press cars, Kenji took a selfie with his father, who was wearing a dark coat and blue blouse. The former president looked tired and calm, while his son was euphoric.
„These are the first minutes of Alberto Fujimori in freedom,“ his family doctor, Alejandro Aguinaga, told AFP.
„He is calm, he is not a person who exaggerates his emotions, he knows he has to take care of himself, he knows there is (a) severe heart problem,“ he added.
The pardon, granted by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Christmas Eve, unleashed a new political storm in Peru days after the center-right leader was saved from being removed by Congress for having lied about his ties with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
Relatives of the victims decided to resort to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in San José, to annul the pardon, which they consider an „insult“.
„We have been notified by the Court for a hearing that has been scheduled for February 2,“ attorney Gloria Cano of the Human Rights Association explained to AFP.
The lawyer Carlos Rivera, who represents the victims, stressed that the Inter-American Court itself „has ordered that all involved be investigated, tried and punished“ in the killings of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta University perpetrated in 1991 and 1992 by squadrons of military deaths under the Fujimori government and that led to his conviction.
„The farce is complete, it is clear that Fujimori is not terminally ill, today crime and impunity are taking to the streets,“ Rivera wrote on Twitter after the ex-governor left the clinic.
– Two ministers resigned –
Kuczynski argued that the pardon will allow a „reconciliation“ among Peruvians, but the action sparked street protests and was criticized by international organizations, in addition to provoking the resignations of the Ministers of Culture and Defense, Salvador del Solar and Jorge Nieto.
It also opened cracks in the minority government party and in the ranks of the Fujimorist party Fuerza Popular, the main political group in the country that controls the Congress and led by Keiko Fujimori. Some leaders fear that the ex-leader will dispute the leadership of his daughter.
Analyst Luis Benavente compares Keiko’s relationship with his father to that of Marine and Jean-Marie Le Pen, the current leader and the founder of the far-right National Front in France.
– Three out of five Peruvians support pardon –
The reconciliation between his political heirs, Keiko and Kenji, appears as the first task to be undertaken by the ex-ruler of Japanese ancestors now that he has regained his freedom.
„He will meet with the opposing children, he said he wanted to help them, now what will happen is a sort of attempt by the father to compose family trouble,“ analyst Fernando Tuesta told AFP.
„The future of Fujimorismo depends, what a coincidence, on its reconciliation,“ the political scientist María Alejandra Campos quipped in a column in the newspaper El Comercio.
Kuczynski, who beat Keiko in the 2016 electoral ballot by capitalizing on the antifujimorista vote, invoked humanitarian reasons for the pardon, but evidence has emerged that she obeyed a negotiation with Kenji.
For now, Peruvians are still waiting for Kuczynski to appoint the new ministers of his „reconciliation“ cabinet, which should include people like Kenji and Alberto Fujimori.
Many Peruvians criticize Fujimori for human rights abuses and corruption, but others thank him for ending the guerrillas and modernizing the economy.
A poll revealed a few days ago that three of every five Peruvians support the pardon.