Thousands of Peruvians marched on the streets of Lima on Friday to pressure President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski against pardoning the country’s former leader Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations.
Kuczynski’s promise not to pardon Fujimori during last year’s presidential election helped him scrape together a narrow victory against Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori. But last month the president proposed a potential pardon for Fujimori, aged-78, for health reasons as his finance minister was ousted by Congress, which is dominated by Fujimori’s supporters.
Fujimori has been convicted of leading groups that massacred civilians and kidnapped journalists during his years in office from 1990-2000. Despite his autocratic style, he still has a solid following among Peruvians who credit him with fixing an economy in crisis and quashing a bloody leftist insurgency.
Kuczynski, who took office nearly a year ago to cap a distinguished career in finance and public administration, has vowed to transform Peru into a modern country and is leading regional efforts to pressure Venezuela to enact democratic reforms.