Sunday, April 26, 2009
After experiencing many years of fiscal, political, and social peril, Alberto Fujimori came to power in Peru in 1990 and stayed there through 2000 with his strong-armed tactics. Fujimori bribed countless politicians and government agents, he embezzled $1 Billion U.S. dollars from the Peruvian government, and would often use the military and his Intelligence supervisor to get what he wanted. However, these were only a few of his most deplorable actions. What could be seen as his worst is what he has recently been found guilty of, not in an activist European Court, but in his own country.
Fujimori was found guilty, on April 7, 2009, of Human Rights abuses stemming from his knowledge that a death squad, the Colina Group, had killed a number of Fujimori's opponents, individuals associated with "The Shining Path," a Maoist terrorist group which started in the hills of Peru, but quickly became involved with politics and violence within it's cities, such as Lima. Though the Shining Path did not consist of angels, this was still a brazen act of unjustifiable violence. The Court also ruled on the kidnapping and murder of 10 students from a teacher's training center. These cases are only a few of a number of kidnappings that the Colina Group participated in during the years of Fujimori, and are two known cases in which he can be implicated as the "indirect perpetrator."
This is a monumental ruling due to the fact that after being dissolved of power some nine years ago, and his subsequent fleeing of the country, Fujimori had been brought back to justice by the new government, which coincidentally is headed by the President he took control from, Alan Garcia. Not only does this help solidify his control of the country and the justice that he sought to bring the people, this is also a major issue for the region in general. After the circus that became the deportation of Pinochet and his subsequent trial before his last days of 2006, it is refreshing to see that justice may be served in the area. Though there are many factions within Peru that appreciate what Fujimori did for the government and the country, there are many more that do not appreciate his heavy handed means in which he achieved his ends. The murders and kidnappings of their own citizens by governments and indirectly their own President is never something that should be condoned or glanced over, not even for the members of The Shining Path. Though this is a recent ruling, it can only be hoped for Peru, and for the region, that this ruling is upheld and that Fujimori will pay for the Human Rights abuses that his regime inflicted.