LIMA – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, currently serving a 25-year prison sentence, was taken on Saturday to a private clinic in Lima for a bout of tachycardia, local media reported.
The younger son of the former leader, lawmaker Kenji Fujimori, accompanied his father in the ambulance taking him to the Centenario hospital in the Pueblo Libre district, images broadcast on television channel N revealed.
Fujimori’s chief physician, Alejandro Aguinaga, told the daily El Comercio that the ex-president was suffering from tachycardia, or rapid heartbeat, and so the decision was made to temporarily transfer him from the special police prison where he is being held to the hospital.
Fujimori, 79, governed Peru form 1990-2000 and is currently imprisoned for graft and human rights crimes.
He is a controversial figure in Peru, having been accused by many of staging a “self-coup” to transform the country into a dictatorship and being at the center of a vast corruption network, while others claim that he ended a serious nationwide economic crisis and crushed the Maoist and bloody Shining Path guerrilla insurgency.
Fujimori – who is of Peruvian-Japanese heritage – ended his presidency in 2000 by fleeing to Japan to escape the huge corruption and human rights scandal that had enveloped his administration, and the Peruvian Parliament impeached him and removed him from office.
However, he was arrested by Chilean authorities in late 2005 while on a trip to that country and extradited to Peru two years later.
In December 2007, Fujimori was convicted of ordering an illegal search and seizure, and was sentenced to six years in prison, and in April 2009 he was found guilty of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by the Grupo Colina death squad during his government’s battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s.
Numerous petitions for his pardon have been presented by supporters and family members over the years, but all have been rejected for various reasons by the government and the judiciary.
Fujimori is the father of Keiko Fujimori, who is active in Peruvian politics and lost the tight 2011 and 2016 presidential elections.
While imprisoned, the former leader has suffered from cancer of the tongue and undergone several surgeries to control that disease. He has also suffered from low blood pressure and other vascular ailments in recent years.