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Reflections on What It Means for Peruvians to Put Fujimori on Trial

By Janett Chavarry Garcia

PERU: I can still remember that afternoon. I was studying with two partners for a university exam.
We watched on TV that our questionable President, Alberto Fujimori, had left Perú and delivered his resignation by fax.
I thought, “He never will come back.”
Yet after seven years, Fujimori, who fled Peru and during the past ten years has lived in Japan and Chile while being accused of hard crimes, was finally extradited last September.

He’s accused of seven crimes: among them are corruption and human rights violations. Since his return to Peru, thousands of comments, in favor and against him, have come up about the destiny of Fujimori and the consequences and changes that Perú will suffer when Fujimori is put on trial.

Peru has changed since Fujimori left the government. More people, who collaborated with him, are in jail, especially Vladimiro Montesinos, co-conspirator of different crimes.
In fact, Montesinos is a principal witness in the Fujimori trial and I suppose that during the trial we will learn more about the successes of the Fujimori government.
It’s impossible to refute that Fujimori did accomplish more good deeds for the Peruvian people, improved the economy and gained widespread popularity, especially among the poor people.
This popularity continues today with his daughter in Parliament, together with twelve other people, who comprise an important political force inside the government. They have garnered more than half a million of the voters and different businessmen who still support Fujimori.
Surprisingly, this situation hasn’t polarized the country but is moving big interests around Fujimori because more people who worked with him are now government employees and the actual President was accused of similar crimes in the first term.
The principle crime that Fujimori is accused of is being the mastermind in the deaths of a group of humble workers and twelve students and one teacher who lived in a public university.
These crimes happened during the time Fujimori confronted the country’s domestic terrorism, a hard problem which Peru lived with for more than twenty years.
Fujimori’s methods always were questioned because it included tortures, abuses, asassinations and sent innocent people to jail without trials and evidence.
Thousands of these people were women, people who lost their families, jobs, studies and personal lives because of an unfair accusation.

The women, during Fujimori’s presidency held an important role. First, a lot of them survived tortures and unfair treatment from militarists and terrorists.
Then some women organized movements to overthrow Fujimori by staging protests and writing documents to declare the excess abuses that the government committed.
Yet, primarily, the women organized themselves to save their families from the poverty and violence.
It is in this context, Fujimori will be put on trial on December 10.
Almost all of Peru wants Fujimori to go to the jail. Some human rights organizations have created intensive campaigns to follow the daily developments leading up to the trial, the same way the Peruvian media can’t let a day pass without soliciting the public’s comments or publishing reports.
I believe that with this process, the new generation, who fortunately don’t live in a period of terrorism like that which drove many people to emigrate to other countries to escape this problem, will understand that ethics and respect for people’s lives are two very important values for the development and conscience of a country.
Cases like Fujimori will improve the false impression that many Peruvians have: that corruption and the above-the-law mentality are the only ways to get happiness, prestige and wealth.
The cost is always too high for everyone.
Learn more about Janett:
Janett Chávarry García was born in Lima, Peru in 1977. It is where she still lives with her parents and three sisters in the same apartment near the city’s town square.
Janett has a degree in Communications from Lima University. These days, Janett studies the development of communications and mass media as it pertains to social issues.
As such, she has worked in human resources, television and has participated in public enterprise projects.
When Janett is not writing for Latina Lista, she loves to spend her free time either curled up with a good book of fiction and her dogs or working in a little exercise by playing volleyball or cycling around Lima.

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