Peru’s ex-President Fujimori awaits release from prison after contentious pardon
LIMA — Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, serving a 25-year prison term for human rights abuses during his decade-long rule in the 1990s, is awaiting release later on Wednesday after a court restored a contentious 2017 pardon.
The country’s highest court on Tuesday ruled in favor of an appeal to restore the pardon for Fujimori, 85, on humanitarian grounds, despite criticisms from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) and victims’ families.
The court called for Fujimori’s “immediate release,” a decision which now rests with the country’s penitentiary institute – an arm of the government of President Dina Boluarte – which has said that it is processing the order.
Fujimori was convicted in 2009 of ordering the massacre of 25 people in 1991 and 1992 while his government fought the Shining Path guerrillas, but received a pardon on Christmas Eve in 2017 from former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
The pardon has been repeatedly annulled or suspended by lower courts after pressure from the IACHR and victims’ families, but Peru’s constitutional court restored the pardon earlier this week.
Shortly after the order, the president of the IACHR asked Peru to stop the pardon until it had “all the necessary elements to analyze whether said decision complies with the conditions” required for the process.
This comes as approval for the government of President Dina Boluarte has sunk into single digits and to its lowest level in the year of office since the ouster of her predecessor.
Boluarte is also facing a constitutional complaint by the country’s attorney general for dozens of deaths that took place during anti-government protests after she took office.