Alberto Fujimori
President of Peru
Alberto Fujimori
Alberto Fujimori Fujimori served as President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 17 November 2000. A controversial figure, Fujimori has been credited with the creation of Fujimorism, uprooting terrorism in Peru and restoring its macroeconomic stability. However, he was criticized for his authoritarian way of ruling the country (especially after 1992) and was accused of human rights violations.
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Peruvian president's ties with powerful opposition party sour
Yahoo News - 2 months
For the first few months of Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's term, the right-wing populist party he narrowly beat in June's election helped his technocratic government push out an initial raft of reforms. Just five months into Kuczynski's five-year term, the battle over Education Minister Jaime Saavedra has exposed Kuczynski's vulnerability to his defeated rival Keiko Fujimori, daughter of jailed former authoritarian leader Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori has declined to meet with Kuczynski since losing her second bid for the presidency and has commanded her Popular Force party from behind the scenes, heaping praise on lawmakers who railed against Saavedra in a hearing last week, according pictures of a cellphone chat taken by the Correo newspaper.
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Yahoo News article
Peru ex-president's embezzlement sentence overturned
Yahoo News - 6 months
Peru's supreme court has overturned an embezzlement sentence against former president Alberto Fujimori, although the decision will not alter the 25-year prison term he is serving for crimes against humanity. The sentence had only symbolic effect, however, with prisoners in Peru serving only the longest of their concurrent sentences. The 78-year-old ex-president has denied the embezzlement charges, claiming there was no evidence that he participated in delivery of the money.
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Yahoo News article
What Peru's New President Can Learn From Brazil's Fight Against Corruption
Huffington Post - 7 months
Paul F. Lagunes, Columbia University From the U.K.'s Brexit vote to the U.S. presidential race, a handful of campaigns and elections around the world dominate news cycle after news cycle. One election that has gotten less attention than it deserves is the one in Peru, which recently picked a new president. He's set to take office this week. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, an Oxford- and Princeton-trained economist with ample experience in government who is informally known as PPK, will be sworn in on July 28 after narrowly winning the second June contest. His rival, Keiko Furjimori, the politically adept daughter of a notoriously corrupt former president who is serving a sentence of 25 years in jail, won the first round of elections on Alberto Fujimori's legacy of establishing order. Although she distanced herself from the sketchier aspects of her father's record, the balancing act eventually failed after it became known that one of her closest allies was being investig ...
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Huffington Post article
Fujimori concedes defeat in Peruvian election
Yahoo News - 8 months
Keiko Fujimori conceded defeat Friday in Peru's photo-finish presidential election to former Wall Street banker Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who now faces the task of uniting a deeply divided country. Fujimori, the daughter of disgraced and jailed former president Alberto Fujimori, had refused to give up for five days after the neck-and-neck run-off vote, holding out hope the count would swing back in her favor. "In a democratic spirit, we accept these results," she said, flanked by members of her Popular Force party, who will have a majority in Congress from late July.
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Yahoo News article
Meet the Fujimoris: Peru power family with a dark past
Yahoo News - 9 months
The Fujimoris may look like one of Peru's most dysfunctional families, but they are also one of its most powerful. Although ex-president Alberto Fujimori, 77, is in jail and in frail health, his children are looking to cement a dynasty. Keiko's mother Susana Higuchi divorced him in 1994.
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Yahoo News article
Peruvian drug lord freed from prison, slams Fujimoris
Yahoo News - about 1 year
A notorious former Peruvian cocaine kingpin who was released from prison after 22 years on Wednesday criticized Keiko Fujimori's run for president and said the Andean country became a "narco-state" during her father's 1990-2000 government. Demetrio Chavez, nicknamed "The Vatican," reiterated that he once paid the government of former president Alberto Fujimori $50,000 per month to fly drugs to Colombia from his private runway near a military base without interference. Alberto Fujimori has denied any dealings with Chavez.
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Yahoo News article
Peru's Keiko Fujimori launches new presidential bid
Yahoo News - about 1 year
By Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino PARACAS, Peru (Reuters) - Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of Peru's jailed former leader Alberto Fujimori, launched her second bid for the presidency on Friday, saying she would tap the government's rainy day fund to help spur an economic recovery. Fujimori, the only woman in a field packed with political old-timers, said she would not hesitate to issue new debt if needed after dipping into the $10 billion emergency fund to finance infrastructure projects. "We have one of the smallest levels of debt in the world," Fujimori, 40, told a business leaders forum in the coastal city Paracas.
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Yahoo News article
Peru won't prosecute Fujimori
CNN - about 3 years
Peru will not prosecute former President Alberto Fujimori and his cabinet over a sterilization campaign that was part of a birth control program in the 1990s, the country's public prosecutor's office said Friday in a statement.
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CNN article
Peru clears former government leaders after probe of forced sterilizations - about 3 years
LIMA (Reuters) - Peru has closed an inquiry into whether former president Alberto Fujimori and his cabinet members forcibly sterilized thousands of indigenous women as part of a birth control campaign that targeted the rural poor.
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Fujimori in hospital for cancer recurrence
Yahoo News - about 3 years
Peru's jailed former president Alberto Fujimori has been admitted to hospital for tests after a recurrence of cancer, his attorney said. "The ex-president has been transferred (from his cell to Lima's top cancer hospital INEN) for evaluation, and probably will require surgery," William Castillo told reporters on Monday. Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted in 2009 of human rights violations during his 1990-2000 tenure. He has suffered a recurrence of cancer in the same area of the tongue where he was operated on previously, his son lawmaker Kenji Fujimori said last week.
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Yahoo News article
Peru’s government: Partners in crime
The Economist - about 3 years
WHY were up to ten police patrol cars and dozens of officers providing round-the-clock protection at a house belonging to a convicted criminal? That is a question to which Peru’s president, Ollanta Humala, has so far been unable to provide a coherent answer. And it is one that threatens further damage to Mr Humala’s deteriorating reputation.The criminal in question is Óscar López Meneses, who was given a suspended prison sentence for helping to run a vast espionage, extortion and embezzlement racket in the 1990s for Vladimiro Montesinos. The intelligence chief under the authoritarian government of Alberto Fujimori, Mr Montesinos is now serving a 25-year prison sentence. When a television programme revealed Mr López’s continuing ties to the police earlier this month, the interior minister, Wilfredo Pedraza, resigned and seven senior policemen were sacked.The scandal has lapped uncomfortably close to Mr Humala, a former army officer. According to several security experts in Lima, Mr Pedr ...
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The Economist article
Alberto Fujimori Begins Fifth Trial
Huffington Post - over 3 years
LIMA, Peru -- LIMA, Peru (AP) — Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori showed up for the start of his fifth trial with mussed hair and wearing a sweater over a T-shirt. He sat at the defendant's table taking his blood pressure and writing the measurements in a white notebook. The 75-year-old Fujimori is already in jail serving 25 years following convictions in four trials for authorizing death squads and corruption. The trial that began Thursday alleges he diverted government funds to finance newspapers that backed his successful run for a third term. The session was suspended after defense lawyers asked for a change in judges and argued that Fujimori was in poor health. His appearance was a sharp contrast to his 2009 trial for rights abuses, when he wore stylish suits, colorful ties and shiny shoes.
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Huffington Post article
Jailed Peruvian ex-President Fujimori begins fifth trial _ charged with misusing public funds
Fox News - over 3 years
Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori showed up for the start of his fifth trial with mussed hair and wearing a sweater over a T-shirt.
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Fox News article
Fujimori gets out of jail via Twitter, YouTube
Yahoo News - over 3 years
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Incarcerated for authorizing death squads and corruption, former President Alberto Fujimori is not permitted to give interviews or make public statements.
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Yahoo News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Alberto Fujimori
  • 2016
    Age 77
    In July 2016, with three days left in his term, President Humala said that there was insufficient time to evaluate a second request to pardon Fujimori, leaving the decision to his successor Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
    More Details Hide Details Fujimori is credited by many Peruvians for bringing stability to the country after the violence and hyperinflation of the García years. While it is generally agreed that the "Fujishock" brought short/middle-term macroeconomic stability, the long-term social impact of Fujimori's free market economic policies is still hotly debated. Neoliberal reforms under Fujimori took place in three distinct phases: an initial "orthodox" phase (1990–92) in which technocrats dominated the reform agenda; a "pragmatic" phase (1993–98) that saw the growing influence of business elites over government priorities; and a final "watered-down" phase (1999–2000) dominated by a clique of personal loyalists and their clientelist policies that aimed to secure Fujimori a third term as president. Business was a big winner of the reforms, with its influence increasing significantly within both the state and society. High growth during Fujimori's first term petered out during his second term. "El Niño" phenomena had a tremendous impact on the Peruvian economy during the late 1990s. Nevertheless, total GDP growth between 1992 and 2001, inclusive, was 44.60%, that is, 3.76% per annum; total GDP per capita growth between 1991 and 2001, inclusive, was 30.78%, that is, 2.47% per annum. Also, studies by INEI, the national statistics bureau show that the number of Peruvians living in poverty increased dramatically (from 41.6% to more than 70%) during Alan García's term, but they actually decreased (from more than 70% to 54%) during Fujimori's term.
  • 2013
    Age 74
    President Humala rejected a pardon in 2013, saying that Fujimori's condition was not serious enough to warrant it.
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  • 2012
    Age 73
    Press reports in late 2012 indicated that Fujimori was suffering from tongue cancer and other medical problems.
    More Details Hide Details His family asked President Ollanta Humala for a pardon.
  • 2009
    Age 70
    Fujimori pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years' imprisonment on 30 September 2009.
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    He faced a third trial in July 2009 over allegations that he illegally gave $15 million in state funds to Vladimiro Montesinos, former head of the National Intelligence Service, during the two months prior to his fall from power.
    More Details Hide Details Fujimori admitted paying the money to Montesinos but claimed that he had later paid back the money to the state. On 20 July, the court found him guilty of embezzlement and sentenced him to a further seven and a half years in prison. A fourth, and apparently final, trial took place in September 2009 in Lima. Fujimori was accused of using Montesinos to bribe and tap the phones of journalists, businessmen and opposition politicians – evidence of which led to the collapse of his government in 2000. Fujimori admitted the charges but claimed that the charges were made to damage his daughter's presidential election campaign. The prosecution asked the court to sentence Fujimori to eight years imprisonment with a fine of $1.6 million plus $1 million in compensation to ten people whose phones were bugged.
    On 7 April 2009 a three-judge panel convicted Fujimori on charges of human rights abuses, declaring that the "charges against him have been proven beyond all reasonable doubt".
    More Details Hide Details The panel found him guilty of ordering the Grupo Colina death squad to commit the November 1991 Barrios Altos massacre and the July 1992 La Cantuta Massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 25 people, as well as for taking part in the kidnappings of Peruvian opposition journalist Gustavo Gorriti and businessman Samuel Dyer. Fujimori's conviction is the only instance of a democratically elected head of state being tried and convicted of human rights abuses in his own country. Later on 7 April, the court sentenced Fujimori to 25 years in prison.
    In April 2009 Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by the Grupo Colina death squad during his government's battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s.
    More Details Hide Details The verdict, delivered by a three-judge panel, marked the first time that an elected head of state has been extradited to his home country, tried, and convicted of human rights violations. Fujimori was specifically found guilty of murder, bodily harm, and two cases of kidnapping. In July 2009 Fujimori was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for embezzlement after he admitted to giving $15 million from the Peruvian treasury to his intelligence service chief, Vladimiro Montesinos. Two months later he pled guilty in a fourth trial to bribery and received an additional six-year term. Under Peruvian law all the sentences must run concurrently, with a maximum length of imprisonment of 25 years. Fujimori is the father of Keiko Fujimori, who is active in Peruvian politics and has unsuccessfully run for president.
  • 2008
    Age 69
    Even amid his prosecution in 2008 for crimes against humanity relating to his presidency, two-thirds of Peruvians polled voiced approval for his leadership in that period.
    More Details Hide Details A Peruvian of Japanese descent, Fujimori took refuge in Japan when faced with charges of corruption in 2000. On arriving in Japan he attempted to resign his presidency via fax, but his resignation was rejected by the Congress of the Republic, which preferred to remove him from office by the process of impeachment. Wanted in Peru on charges of corruption and human rights abuses, Fujimori maintained a self-imposed exile until his arrest while visiting Chile in November 2005. He was extradited to face criminal charges in Peru in September 2007. In December 2007, Fujimori was convicted of ordering an illegal search and seizure, and was sentenced to six years in prison. The Supreme Court upheld the decision upon his appeal.
  • 2007
    Age 68
    In a 2007 Universidad de Lima survey of 600 Peruvians in Lima and the port of Callao, 82.6% agreed that the former president should be extradited from Chile to stand trial in Peru.
    More Details Hide Details The Lima-based newspaper Perú 21 ran an editorial noting that even though the Universidad de Lima poll results indicate that four out of every five interviewees believe that Fujimori is guilty of some of the charges against him, he still enjoys at least 30% of popular support and enough approval to restart a political career.
  • 2006
    Age 67
    In September of that year, Fujimori obtained a new Peruvian passport in Tokyo and announced his intention to run in the Peruvian national election, 2006.
    More Details Hide Details The Special Prosecutor established to investigate Fujimori released a report alleging that the Fujimori administration had obtained US$2 billion though graft. Most of this money came from Vladimiro Montesinos' web of corruption. The Special Prosecutor's figure of two billion dollars is considerably higher than the one arrived at by Transparency International, an NGO that studies corruption. In its "Global Corruption Report 2004", Transparency International listed Fujimori as leading the seventh most corrupt government of the past two decades worldwide, estimating that his administration may have embezzled USD $600 million.
    In the 2006 congressional elections, his daughter Keiko was elected to the congress with the highest vote count. She came in second place in the 2011 Peruvian presidential election with 23.2% of the vote, and lost the June run-off against Ollanta Humala. She again ran for President in the 2016 election.
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    He dismissed the judicial proceedings underway against him as "politically motivated", citing Toledo's involvement. Fujimori established a new political party in Peru, Sí Cumple, working from Japan. He hoped to participate in the 2006 presidential elections, but in February 2004, the Constitutional Court dismissed this possibility, because the ex-president was specifically barred by Congress from holding any office for ten years.
    More Details Hide Details Fujimori saw the decision as unconstitutional, as did his supporters such as ex-congressmembers Luz Salgado, Marta Chávez and Fernán Altuve, who argued it was a "political" maneuver and that the only body with the authority to determine the matter was the Jurado Nacional de Elecciones (JNE). Valentín Paniagua disagreed, suggesting that the Constitutional Court finding was binding and that "no further debate is possible". Fujimori's Sí Cumple (roughly translated, "He Keeps His Word") received more than 10% in many country-level polls, contending with APRA for the second place slot.
  • 2005
    Age 66
    By March 2005, it appeared that Peru had all but abandoned its efforts to extradite Fujimori from Japan.
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  • 2003
    Age 64
    In September 2003, Congressman Dora Dávila, joined by Minister of Health Luis Soari, denounced Fujimori and several of his ministers for crimes against humanity, for allegedly having overseen forced sterilizations during his regime.
    More Details Hide Details In November, Congress approved an investigation of Fujimori's involvement in the airdrop of Kalashnikov rifles into the Colombian jungle in 1999 and 2000 for guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Fujimori maintains he had no knowledge of the arms-trading, and blames Montesinos. By approving the charges, Congress lifted the immunity granted to Fujimori as a former president, so that he could be criminally charged and prosecuted. Congress also voted to support charges against Fujimori for the detention and disappearance of 67 students from the central Andean city of Huancayo and the disappearance of several residents from the northern coastal town of Chimbote during the 1990s. It also approved charges that Fujimori mismanaged millions of dollars from Japanese charities, suggesting that the millions of dollars in his bank account were far too much to have been accumulated legally.
  • 2001
    Age 62
    The Peruvian Congress authorized charges against Fujimori in August 2001.
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    Alejandro Toledo, who assumed the presidency in 2001, spearheaded the criminal case against Fujimori.
    More Details Hide Details He arranged meetings with the Supreme Court, tax authorities, and other powers in Peru to "coordinate the joint efforts to bring the criminal Fujimori from Japan." His vehemence in this matter at times compromised Peruvian law: forcing the judiciary and legislative system to keep guilty sentences without hearing Fujimori's defense; not providing Fujimori with representation when he tried him in absentia; and expelling pro-Fujimori congressmen from the parliament without proof of the accusations against them. The latter action was later reversed by the judiciary.
    On 10 November, Fujimori won approval from Congress to hold elections on 8 April 2001.
    More Details Hide Details On 13 November, Fujimori left Peru for a visit to Brunei to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. On 16 November, Valentín Paniagua took over as president of Congress after the pro-Fujimori leadership lost a vote of confidence. On 17 November, Fujimori traveled from Brunei to Tokyo, where he submitted his presidential resignation via fax. Congress refused to accept his resignation, instead voting 62–9 to remove Fujimori from office on the grounds that he was "permanently morally disabled." On 19 November, government ministers presented their resignations en bloc. Because Fujimori's first vice president, Francisco Tudela, had broken with Fujimori and resigned a few days earlier, his successor Ricardo Márquez came to claim the presidency. Congress however refused to recognize him, as he was an ardent Fujimori loyalist; Márquez resigned two days later. Paniagua was next in line, and became interim president to oversee the April elections.
  • 2000
    Age 61
    At this point, a corruption scandal involving Vladimiro Montesinos broke out, and exploded into full force on the evening of 14 September 2000, when the cable television station Canal N broadcast footage of Montesinos apparently bribing opposition congressman Alberto Kouri for defecting to Fujimori's Perú 2000 party.
    More Details Hide Details The video was presented by Fernando Olivera, leader of the FIM (Independent Moralizing Front), who purchased it from one of Montesinos's closest allies (nicknamed by the Peruvian press El Patriota). Fujimori's support virtually collapsed, and a few days later he announced in a nationwide address that he would shut down the SIN and call new elections, in which he would not be a candidate.
    Latin American scholars Cynthia McClintock and Fabián Vallas note that the issue appeared to have died down among Peruvians after the Japanese government announced in 2000 that "Fujimori's parents had registered his birth in the Japanese consulate in Lima".
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  • 1999
    Age 60
    In late 1999, Fujimori announced that he would run for a third term.
    More Details Hide Details Peruvian electoral bodies, which were politically sympathetic to Fujimori, accepted his argument that the two-term restriction did not apply to him, as it was enacted while he was already in office. Exit polls showed Fujimori fell short of the 50% required to avoid an electoral runoff, but the first official results showed him with 49.6% of the vote, just short of outright victory. Eventually, Fujimori was credited with 49.89%—20,000 votes short of avoiding a runoff. Despite reports of numerous irregularities, the international observers recognized an adjusted victory of Fujimori. His primary opponent, Alejandro Toledo, called for his supporters to spoil their ballots in the runoff by writing "No to fraud!" on them (voting is mandatory in Peru). International observers pulled out of the country after Fujimori refused to delay the runoff. In the runoff, Fujimori won with 51.1% of the total votes. While votes for Toledo declined from 37.0% of the total votes cast in the first round to 17.7% of the votes in the second round, invalid votes jumped from 8.1% of the total votes cast in the first round to 31.1% of total votes in the second round. The large percentage of invalid votes in this election suggests that many Peruvians took Toledo's advice and spoiled their ballots.
  • 1997
    Age 58
    Several senior Japanese politicians have supported Fujimori, partly because of his decisive action in ending the 1997 Japanese embassy crisis.
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    According to a poll by the Peruvian Research and Marketing Company conducted in 1997, 40.6% of Lima residents considered President Fujimori an authoritarian.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to the fate of democracy under Fujimori, Peruvians were becoming increasingly interested in the myriad allegations of criminality that involvedFujimori and his chief of the National Intelligence Service, Vladimiro Montesinos. A 2002 report by Health Minister later suggested that Fujimori was involved in the forced sterilizations of up to 300,000 indigenous women between 1996 and 2000, as part of a population control program. A 2004 World Bank publication said that in this period Montesinos' abuse of the power Fujimori granted him "led to a steady and systematic undermining of the rule of law".
  • 1996
    Age 57
    The Japanese embassy hostage crisis began on 17 December 1996, when fourteen MRTA militants seized the residence of the Japanese ambassador in Lima during a party, taking hostage some four hundred diplomats, government officials, and other dignitaries.
    More Details Hide Details The action was partly in protest of prison conditions in Peru. During the four-month standoff, the Emerretistas gradually freed all but 72 of their hostages. The government rejected the militants' demand to release imprisoned MRTA members and secretly prepared an elaborate plan to storm the residence, while stalling by negotiating with the hostage-takers. On 22 April 1997, a team of military commandos, codenamed "Chavín de Huantar", raided the building. One hostage, two military commandos, and all 14 MRTA insurgents were killed in the operation. Images of President Fujimori at the ambassador's residence during and after the military operation, surrounded by soldiers and liberated dignitaries, and walking among the corpses of the insurgents, were widely televised. The conclusion of the four-month-long standoff was used by Fujimori and his supporters to bolster his image as tough on terrorism. Several organizations criticized Fujimori's methods against Shining Path and the MRTA. Amnesty International said "the widespread and systematic nature of human rights violations committed during the government of former head of state Albert Fujimori (1990–2000) in Peru constitute crimes against humanity under international law." Fujimori's alleged association with death squads is currently being studied by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, after the court accepted the case of "Cantuta vs Perú".
  • 1995
    Age 56
    The 1995 election was the turning point in Fujimori's career.
    More Details Hide Details Peruvians began to be more concerned about freedom of speech and the press. However, before he was sworn in for a second term, Fujimori stripped two universities of their autonomy and reshuffled the national electoral board. This led his opponents to call him "Chinochet," a reference to his previous nickname and to Chilean ruler Augusto Pinochet.
  • 1994
    Age 55
    He formally stripped her of the title First Lady in August 1994, appointing their eldest daughter First Lady in her stead. Higuchi publicly denounced Fujimori as a "tyrant" and claimed that his administration was corrupt. They formally divorced in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details The 1993 Constitution allowed Fujimori to run for a second term, and in April 1995, at the height of his popularity, Fujimori easily won reelection with almost two-thirds of the vote. His major opponent, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, won only 22 percent of the vote. Fujimori's supporters won comfortable majorities in the legislature. One of the first acts of the new congress was to declare an amnesty for all members of the Peruvian military or police accused or convicted of human rights abuses between 1980 and 1995. During his second term, Fujimori signed a peace agreement with Ecuador over a border dispute that had simmered for more than a century. The treaty allowed the two countries to obtain international funds for developing the border region. Fujimori also settled some issues with Chile, Peru's southern neighbor, which had been unresolved since the 1929 Treaty of Lima.
    In 1994, Fujimori separated from his wife Susana Higuchi in a noisy, public divorce.
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  • 1993
    Age 54
    The 1993 constitution limited a presidency to two terms.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after Fujimori began his second term, his supporters in Congress passed a law of "authentic interpretation" which effectively allowed him to run for another term in 2000. A 1998 effort to repeal this law by referendum failed.
    Fujimori supporters won a majority of the seats in this body, and drafted a new constitution in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details In a referendum, the coup and the Constitution of 1993 were approved by a narrow margin of between four and five percent. Later in the year, on 13 November, General Jaime Salinas led a failed military coup. Salinas asserted that his intentions were to turn Fujimori over to be tried for violating the Peruvian constitution.
  • 1992
    Age 53
    Peruvian Minister of Justice Maria Zavala has stated that this verdict by the IACHR supports the Peruvian government's extradition of Fujimori from Chile. Though the IACHR verdict does not directly implicate Fujimori, it does fault the Peruvian government for its complicity in the 1992 Cantuta University killings.
    More Details Hide Details After Congress rejected Fujimori's faxed resignation, they relieved Fujimori of his duties as president and banned from Peruvian politics for a decade. He remained in self-imposed exile in Japan, where he resided with his friend, the famous Catholic novelist Ayako Sono.
    After the 1992 auto-coup, the intelligence work of the DINCOTE (National Counter-Terrorism Directorate) led to the capture of the leaders from MRTA and the Shining Path, including notorious Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán.
    More Details Hide Details Guzmán's capture was a political coup for Fujimori, who used it to great effect in the press; in an interview with documentarian Ellen Perry, Fujimori even notes that he specially ordered Guzmán's prison jumpsuit to be white with black stripes, to enhance the image of his capture in the media. Critics charge that to achieve the defeat of Shining Path, the Peruvian military engaged in widespread human rights abuses, and that the majority of the victims were poor highland countryside inhabitants caught in a crossfire between the military and insurgents. The final report of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, published on 28 August 2003, brought out that Peruvian armed forces were also guilty of destroying villages and murdering countryside inhabitants whom they suspected of supporting insurgents. The majority of the atrocities committed between 1980 and 1995 however were indeed the work of Shining Path.
    By 1992, Shining Path guerrilla attacks had claimed an estimated 20,000 lives over preceding 12 years. On the 16th of July 1992 the Tarata Bombing, in which several car bombs exploded in Lima's wealthiest district, killed over 40 people; the bombings were characterized by one commentator as an "offensive to challenge President Albert Fujimori."
    More Details Hide Details The bombing at Tarata was followed up with a "weeklong wave of car bombings... Bombs hit banks, hotels, schools, restaurants, police stations and shops... Guerrillas bombed two rail bridges from the Andes, cutting off some of Peru's largest copper mines from coastal ports." Fujimori has been credited by many Peruvians with ending the fifteen-year reign of terror of Shining Path. As part of his anti-insurgency efforts, Fujimori granted the military broad powers to arrest suspected insurgents and try them in secret military courts with few legal rights. This measure has often been criticized for compromising the fundamental democratic and human right to an open trial wherein the accused faces the accuser. Fujimori contended that these measures were both justified and also necessary. Members of the judiciary were too afraid to charge the alleged insurgents, and judges and prosecutors had very legitimate fears of reprisals against them or their families. At the same time, Fujimori's government armed rural Peruvians, organizing them into groups known as "rondas campesinas" ("peasant patrols").
    In response to the political deadlock, Fujimori, with the support of the military, on 5 April 1992, carried out a presidential coup. also known as the autogolpe (auto-coup or self-coup) or Fujigolpe (Fuji-coup) in Peru.
    More Details Hide Details He shut down Congress, suspended the constitution, and purged the judiciary. The coup was welcomed by the public, according to numerous polls. Not only was the coup itself marked by favorable public opinion in several independent polls, but also public approval of the Fujimori administration jumped significantly in the wake of the coup. Fujimori often cited this public support in defending the coup, which he characterized as "not a negation of real democracy, but on the contrary… a search for an authentic transformation to assure a legitimate and effective democracy." Fujimori believed that Peruvian democracy had been nothing more than "a deceptive formality – a facade". He claimed the coup was necessary in order to break with the deeply entrenched special interests that were hindering him from rescuing Peru from the chaotic state in which García had left it. Fujimori's coup was immediately met with near-unanimous condemnation from the international community. The Organization of American States denounced the coup and demanded a return to "representative democracy", despite Fujimori's claim that the coup represented a "popular uprising". Foreign ministers of OAS member states reiterated this condemnation of the autogolpe. They proposed an urgent effort to promote the re-establishment of "the democratic institutional order" in Peru. Negotiations between the OAS, the government, and opposition groups led Albert Fujimori initially to propose a referendum to ratify the auto-coup, but the OAS rejected this. Fujimori then proposed scheduling elections for a Democratic Constituent Congress (CCD), which would draft a new constitution to be ratified by a national referendum.
    By March 1992, Congress met with the approval of only 17% of the electorate, according to one poll; the president's approval rate stood at 42%, in the same poll.
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  • 1991
    Age 52
    As early as 1991, Fujimori had himself vocally denounced what he called "pseudo-human rights organizations" such as Amnesty International and Americas Watch, for allegedly failing to criticize the insurgencies targeting civilian populations throughout Peru against which his government was struggling.
    More Details Hide Details In the 2004 Global Transparency Report, Fujimori made into the list of the World's Most Corrupt Leaders.He was listed seventh and he was said to have amassed $600 million. Fujimori still has support within Peru. The Universidad de Lima March 2003 poll, taken while he was in Japan, found a 41% approval rating for his administration. A poll conducted in March 2005 by the Instituto de Desarrollo e Investigación de Ciencias Económicas (IDICE) indicated that 12.1% of the respondents intended to vote for Fujimori in the 2006 presidential election. A poll conducted on 25 November 2005, by the Universidad de Lima indicated a high approval (45.6%) rating of the Fujimori period between 1990 and 2000, attributed to his counterinsurgency efforts (53%). An article from La Razon, a Peruvian newspaper, stated in 2003 that: "Fujimori is only guilty of one big crime and it is that of having been successful in a country of failed politicians, creators of debt, builders of mirages, and downright opportunistic."
    Fujimori was alleged to be a co-author, along with Vladimiro Montesinos, of the death-squad killings at Barrios Altos in 1991 and La Cantuta in 1992.
    More Details Hide Details At the behest of Peruvian authorities, Interpol issued an arrest order for Fujimori on charges that included murder, kidnapping, and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, the Peruvian government found that Japan was not amenable to the extradition of Fujimori; a protracted diplomatic debate ensued, when Japan showed itself unwilling to accede to the extradition request.
  • 1990
    Age 51
    Fujimori won the 1990 presidential election as a dark horse candidate under the banner of Cambio 90 ("cambio" means "change") beating world-renowned writer Mario Vargas Llosa in a surprising upset.
    More Details Hide Details He capitalized on profound disenchantment with outgoing president Alan García and the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance party (APRA). He exploited popular distrust of Vargas Llosa's identification with the existing Peruvian political establishment, and uncertainty about his plans for neoliberal economic reforms. Fujimori won much support from the poor, who were frightened by Vargas Llosa's austerity proposals. During the campaign, Fujimori was nicknamed El Chino, which roughly translates to "Chinaman"; it is common for people of any East Asian descent to be called chino in Peru, as elsewhere in Latin America, both derogatively and affectionately. Although he is of Japanese heritage, Fujimori has suggested that he was always gladdened by the term, which he perceived as a term of affection. With his election victory, he became just the second person of East Asian descent to become head of government of a Latin American nation, after Fulgencio Batista of Cuba and the third of East Asian descent to govern a South American state, after Arthur Chung of Guyana and Henk Chin A Sen of Suriname (each of whom had served as head of state, rather than head of government).
    He was President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 22 November 2000.
    More Details Hide Details A controversial figure, Fujimori ended his presidency by fleeing Peru for Japan amid a major scandal involving corruption and human rights violations. Despite this, some commentators have credited his government with the creation of Fujimorism, defeating the Shining Path insurgency and restoring Peru's macroeconomic stability.
  • 1989
    Age 50
    When Fujimori came to power, much of Peru was dominated by the Maoist insurgent group Sendero Luminoso ("Shining Path"), and the Marxist–Leninist group Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). In 1989, 25% of Peru's district and provincial councils opted not to hold elections, owing to a persistent campaign of assassination, over the course of which over 100 officials had been killed by Shining Path in that year alone.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, more than one-third of Peru's courts lacked a justices of the peace, because of Shining Path intimidation. Union leaders and military officials were also assassinated throughout the 1980s. By the early 1990s, some parts of the country were under the control of the insurgents, in territories known as "zonas liberadas" ("liberated zones"), where inhabitants lived under the rule of these groups and paid them taxes. When Shining Path arrived in Lima, it organized "paros armados" ("armed strikes"), which were enforced by killings and other forms of violence. The leadership of Shining Path was largely university students and teachers. Two previous governments, those of Fernando Belaúnde Terry and Alan García, at first neglected the threat posed by Shining Path, then launched an unsuccessful military campaign to eradicate it, undermining public faith in the state and precipitating an exodus of elites.
  • 1987
    Age 48
    He also hosted a TV show called "Concertando" from 1987 to 1989, on Peru's state-owned network, Channel 7.
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    In 1987, Fujimori also became president of the National Commission of Peruvian University Rectors (Asamblea Nacional de Rectores), a position which he has held twice.
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  • 1984
    Age 45
    In recognition of his academic achievements, the sciences faculty of the Universidad Nacional Agraria offered Fujimori the deanship and in 1984 appointed him to the rectorship of the university, which he held until 1989.
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  • 1974
    Age 35
    In 1974, he married Susana Higuchi, also a Peruvian of Japanese descent.
    More Details Hide Details They had four children, including a daughter, Keiko, who followed her father into politics.
  • 1969
    Age 30
    On a Ford scholarship, Fujimori also attended the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in the United States, where he obtained his master's degree in mathematics in 1969.
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  • 1964
    Age 25
    In 1964 he went to study physics at the University of Strasbourg in France.
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  • 1957
    Age 18
    He went on to undergraduate studies at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in 1957, graduating in 1961 first in his class as an agricultural engineer.
    More Details Hide Details The following year he lectured on mathematics at the university.
  • 1956
    Age 17
    In 1956, Fujimori graduated from La gran unidad escolar Alfonso Ugarte in Lima.
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  • 1938
    According to government records, Fujimori was born on 28 July 1938, in Miraflores, a district of Lima.
    More Details Hide Details His parents, Naoichi Fujimori (original surname Minami, adopted by a childless relative; 1897–1971) and Mutsue Inomoto Fujimori (1913–2009), were natives of Kumamoto, Japan, who immigrated to Peru in 1934. He holds dual Peruvian and Japanese citizenship, his parents having secured the latter through the Japanese Consulate. In July 1997, the news magazine Caretas charged that Fujimori had actually been born in Japan, in his father's hometown of Kawachi, Kumamoto Prefecture. Because Peru's constitution requires the president to have been born in Peru, this would have made Fujimori ineligible to be president. The magazine, which had been sued for libel by Vladimiro Montesinos seven years earlier, reported that Fujimori's birth and baptismal certificates might have been altered. Caretas also alleged that Fujimori's mother declared having two children when she entered Peru; Fujimori is the second of four children. Caretas contentions were hotly contested in the Peruvian media; the magazine Sí, for instance, described the allegations as "pathetic" and "a dark page for Peruvian journalism".
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