Peru: ex-president Fujimori convicted of rights abuses

Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was found guilty of committing human rights abuses during his 1990-2000 rule by a special court in Lima April 7. Fujimori, who maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, was convicted on charges of approving the November 1991 killing of 15 people in Lima’s Barrios Altos neighborhood and the July 1992 kidnapping and murder of 10 people from Lima’s La Cantuta University. Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison and plans to appeal.

In closing arguments that began in January, the prosecution contended that between 1991 and 1992, Fujimori was aware of and approved the so-called “Dirty War” carried out by the Colina Group against the Shining Path rebels. The defense maintained that although Fujimori regrets the killings, he was neither involved in the planning of the attacks nor did he give approval for them. Fujimori is now awaiting sentencing and could face up to 30 years in prison.

Fujimori is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2007 of abuse of authority in the last months of his rule. Fujimori was convicted of ordering a warrantless search in 2000 on the apartment of the wife of former Peruvian Intelligence Director Vladimiro Montesinos. Prosecutors alleged that the search was intended to uncover and confiscate documents that might incriminate Fujimori. Fujimori admitted to ordering the raid, but said that it was meant to find Montesinos, who was wanted for money laundering. (Jurist, April 8)

See our last post on Peru.