LIMA – Hundreds of people, mostly civil and social activists, protested on Friday in the historic center of Lima in rejection of an eventual humanitarian pardon for jailed former president Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000).
Demonstrators joined the “Take the square: no to the PPK” pardon, convened by the organizations “No a Keiko” and “Colectivo Dignidad” in the central Plaza San Martin.
“Organized citizen groups and society in general are returning to the streets to show repudiation of a decision that puts at risk the concept of justice in the country,” said the organizers of the march.
At the beginning of the rally, marchers protested that the National Police placed bars to prevent access to the Plaza San Martin, arguing that the area should be preserved.
“Against pardon, dignity,” said a large banner carried by demonstrators who also showed photographs of the nine university students that were kidnapped, killed and disappeared in 1992 by the undercover military group Colina.
Fujimori has served since 2009 a sentence of 25 years in jail after being considered as an immediate perpetrator of the massacres of Barrios Altos and La Cantuta, committed in 1991 and 1992, respectively, by the Colina group.
Activist Jorge Bracamonte told reporters that an eventual pardon would be “a disrespect of the president” (Pedro Pablo Kuczynski) and considered it “clearly illegal.”
He added that a deterioration in the health of the former president “is absolutely a farce,” because “if Fujimori was in bad health as they indicate, what they would have done would be to file a formal request” for his pardon, something that Peruvian authorities indicated has not occurred.
“The president, as the first citizen of the country, is subject to constitutional control, each one of its acts is subject to the Constitution and the laws,” emphasized Bracamonte.
The debate on the possible pardon for Fujimori intensified in the last few weeks following the Cabinet changes that Kuczynski was forced to make after a no-confidence vote from the Congress, dominated with an absolute majority by the Fujimorismo.
Having been convicted of crimes against humanity, Fujimori can only receive a humanitarian pardon, a grace granted by the president in extraordinary circumstances if it is shown that the prisoner has a terminal illness or a serious illness that is exacerbated by prison conditions.
So far, Fujimori has requested two pardons, one rejected in 2013 by the former president Ollanta Humala and a second presented last year, which he gave up when he learned that Kuczynski had no intention of granting it.