LIMA – Thousands of people demonstrated on Monday in cities across Peru against the pardon current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski granted to former president Alberto Fujimori, which exempts him from completing a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations.
In Lima, some 6,000 people took part peacefully. It ended with at least one arrest by the police, who attempted to disperse the demonstration with tear gas.
The protesters at first wanted to march towards the Government Palace, headquarters of the executive, or to the clinic in which Fujimori is hospitalized, but instead was ended in front of the Palace of Justice due to the authorities’ refusal to allow the march to those destinations.
The demonstrators demanded that the pardon be quashed, given that it favors impunity for Fujimori. He was sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for his responsibility in the massacres of 25 people in Barrios Altos in 1991 and La Cantuta in 1992, perpetrated by the undercover military group Colina, and the kidnapping of a journalist and a businessman in 1992.
Kuczynski signed the pardon for Fujimori, 79, only three days after he narrowly survived an impeachment vote by Congress, thanks to the 10 votes from Fujimori’s party, led by Kenji Fujimori, son of the former president, who had called on several occasions for a pardon for his father.
The pardon was granted for humanitarian reasons, allegedly because Fujimori is suffering from a “progressive, degenerative and incurable disease” and is at risk of aggravation due to prison conditions, according to a statement from the Presidency of Peru.
According to the report by the medical board that recommended the pardon, Fujimori is suffering from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, hypertension, mitral insufficiency, tongue cancer that has needed six operations and a lumbar hernia.
Fujimori was transferred on Friday from the prison and is currently hospitalized in a clinic in Lima, where on Sunday his children brought him the news of the pardon.
Demonstrations against the pardon also took place in other cities such as Arequipa, Ayacucho, Puno, Tacna and Trujillo, among others.