The Fujimori saga: would-be pardons, party splits and Keiko under investigation

1 October 2017

The Fujimori saga continues. All conversation in Lima last week was dominated by the possible and (some are convinced) imminent pardon of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori. Ever since the vote of no-confidence in the cabinet last month, this issue has topped the agenda. Significantly, the new prime minister, Mercedes Aráoz, has noted that she would not oppose it.

The families of victims of human rights crimes perpetrated under the Fujimori government have a rather different view. They have demanded an early meeting with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, but so far have received no official response.

One reason why the pardon is once again on Kuczynski’s agenda may be because it would further deepen the rift between Kenji Fujimori and Fuerza Popular (FP), the party led by his sister Keiko. Kenji, who was the congressman who garnered most votes in the last legislative election, has continued his attacks against the leading lights of FP. He currently stands on the verge of expulsion.

From the government’s standpoint, a split in FP would be beneficial; it would make it harder for its 71 representatives in Congress to act as a bloc. Kenji, who is closest to the old-style Fujimoristas, accuses the FP leadership of using his father in the campaign last year but now ignoring him in his hour of need.

Meanwhile Keiko, who has come under suspicion as part of the Lava Jato scandal of bribe-taking, made a declaration to the public prosecutor (fiscal) on 28 June about her personal finances. Interestingly, her responses have only recently come to light, the transcript being published last week in La República

She was adamant that she only owns one car and not even a single property. She appears to have been particularly good at saving or, alternatively, was not revealing the true extent of her wealth to the fiscal. She denied receiving money from Joaquín Ramírez, FP’s former general secretary who is being investigated by the DEA for involvement in drug trafficking. She says that she had only met him because he was a congressman for her party for Cajamarca. The hearing continues.

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