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Alberto Fujimori

Ex-President of Peru (b. 1938)

Born in Lima, Peru of Japanese immigrants, Alberto Fujimori scored an upset victory in his country’s 1990 elections and served as president of Peru from 1990 to 2000. Educated as an agricultural economist, he played a controversial role in turning the country around from severe economic crisis and left-wing terrorists known as the Shining Path. To combat inflation, he instituted programs to cut government subsidies and raise prices. In 1992 he declared emergency rule suspending the congress and courts in order to combat internal corruption and terrorism.

Highly popular among the Peruvian public, he won a second term in the elections of 1995, but became widely criticized for autocratic rule and suppression of opposition voices. In 2000 he won election again when rival candidate Toledo Manrique withdrew from the runoff because of expected election fraud. Fujimori was soon forced to resign under allegations of bribery committed by his advisors. Traveling to Japan, he resigned his office in November and placed himself in exile. He was later charged by the Congress of Peru with dereliction of duty for failing to return.

The extraordinary tale of the fugitive former Peruvian president took a strange twist in November 2005 when he arrived unexpectedly in Chile. Wanted on 21 Peruvian and Interpol warrants for corruption, murder and human rights abuses, Fujimori had remained free courtesy of the Japanese government, which had welcomed him as a prodigal son in 2000 and subsequently blocked his extradition. Then, almost five years to the day after he fled Peru for Japan and faxed his resignation from the presidency,­ Fujimori appeared in Chile on a tourist visa, vowing to return to Peru to run for president in April 2006. Instead he was promptly arrested, and is now fighting extradition. Peru's National Election Board formally rejected his bid on Jan. 10, 2006.

As of 2006


Biography

Briefly describes Fujimori's background and rise to power as a political outsider, and the political fortunes of Peru since Fujimori's ascent to the presidency.
Deals briefly with Fujimori's relationship with Vladimiro Ilyich Montesinos, "not only the former de facto chief of the Peruvian intelligence, Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (SIN), [but] the adviser and, together with the military, the most important power base of President Alberto Fujimori."
Extensive biography, including assessments of Fujimori's exile in Japan, and his political legacy in contemporary Peru.
"Incorporating extensive news footage and interviews with Fujimori in exile, his daughter Keiko, several prominent Peruvian journalists and legislators, the film traces Fujimori's surreal rift with his wife, Susana Higuchi, who while living in the presidential palace and serving as first lady began to campaign against her husband; his suspension of congress and rewriting of the constitution in a bizarre "auto-coup"; his Machiavellian tactics in a war on terrorism that led to the capture of the bloodthirsty Maoist leader of the Shining Path; and his eventual ensnarement in a bribery and corruption scandal spearheaded by his shadowy right-hand man, and head of the National Intelligence Agency, Vladimiro Montesinos." (from a review of the film by Carina Chocaru, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2006).
"P.O.V. - The Fall of Fujimori" (PBS) Web site created by the Public Broadcasting Service for its program "P.O.V." with extensive features and background information on Fujimori and the production of the documentary.

This is Fujimori's official home page. Available in Spanish, English and Japanese.

Articles

"Human rights groups have launched an international campaign to get Peru's ex-President Alberto Fujimori extradited from Japan."
  • Kiroku Hanai, "Fujimori case testing Japan". Japan Times, August 26, 2003. (Republished on the web site of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Perú.)
Explores the legal, political, and ethical arguments for extradition of Fujimori to Peru to face criminal charges.
Compares the history of Jews in the United States with the history of Nikkei in Peru, and the phenomenon of Alberto Fujimori's ascent to the presidency of Peru, to assess what might happen when a Jew runs for President of the United States.
Describes murder charges filed by Peru's attorney general against Fujimori, in an effort to force Japan to extradite the exiled former president.
Includes video segment by BBC correspondent Charles Scanlon. (Real Audio, 1:12)
This site presents basic information and background about the fall of President Fujimori. Available only in Japanese.
  • Philip Mauceri, "Japan and Peru in the Fujimori Era: The Ties That Bind". Paper presented at the conference, "Agenda on the Pacific Rim: Educating About Japan, Latin America and the Relationships between Japan and the Americas", October 16-18, 1997, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
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