LIMA – Some 1,000 people marched in Lima to demand “immediate freedom” for jailed ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who since 2009 has been serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights violations.
The demonstration, organized over social networks by the Fujimori Liberation Front, set out from Campo de Marte and marched down the principal thoroughfares of the city’s historic center to Plaza San Martin, after which the protesters returned to their point of departure.
One of the demonstrators, Eduviges Sulca, told EFE that Fujimori should be freed because “he worked honorably for the poor and the most oppressed.
“He was the best president we had. He ended terrorism and established the free market that we enjoy today. Then he was sentenced unjustly,” Sulca said.
Another in the march, Wilber Donato, told EFE in a statement that Peruvian president-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski should grant Fujimori a presidential pardon when he takes office on July 28.
The demonstration came four days after Fujimorist Congressman Julio Gago urged Kuczynski on Monday to pardon the former chief executive.
Gago told the daily Exitosa that Fujimori’s liberation by Kuczynski would mean “a true reconciliation” with Keiko Fujimori, the eldest daughter of Alberto Fujimori that Peru’s next president defeated in the recent presidential elections by a scant 45,000 votes.
Among the crimes against humanity for which the ex-president was tried and sentenced were the massacres in Barrios Altos and La Cantuta, committed by the Colina undercover military group, as well as the kidnapping of a journalist and a businessman in 1992.
Fujimori was also found guilty of corruption, such as paying off sensationalist tabloids to have their editorials promote his reelection, but Peruvian law only applies the longest sentence, the one for 25 years for human rights violations.
Ex-President Fujimori, 77, is being held in a personal cell on the base of the Peruvian police’s Diroes special operations unit on Lima’s east side, though from time to time he is taken to clinics in the capital to be treated for hypertension and tongue sores known as leukoplakia.
That has led family and followers to campaign for a humanitarian pardon, a benefit that in 2013 was denied Fujimori by current Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.