Peru’s disgraced former president Alberto Fujimori has been arrested during a surprise visit to Chile. He flew into Santiago last night from Japan, where he has been a fugitive for the past five years. Fujimori led Peru from 1990 to 2000, until a corruption scandal brought down his regime. But now he wants to relaunch his political career.
And despite the allegations against him, Fujimori still has his supporters. Hundreds of people gathered in central Lima last night. Many wore Fujimori’s political colour of orange. He has announced he will run for president in 2006, despite being banned from political activity.
He faces 21 criminal charges including corruption and political responsibility for the death squad murders of 25 people, including a child, in the early 1990s.
Under Chilean law Fujimori could not be arrested at the airport. But agents from Interpol are thought to have detained him at his hotel and taken him to a nearby police school.
Many Peruvians, however, remember Fujimori in a good light, for crushing left-wing rebels, controlling hyper-inflation, and bringing electricity and schools to remote villages.