It was the year 1992, Hugo Chavez failed in an attempted coup d’état against President Carlos Andres Perez, and Hugo Chavez was sent to jail. What most do not remember is that then Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori offered Chavez political asylum.
Former Peruvian President (1990 – 2001) Alberto Fujimori is convicted to 25 years in prison and faces many trials that range from crimes against humanity (commanding death squad Grupo Colina) to corruption. The Transparency International NGO estimated that more than $600 million USD were questionable of which only $160 million USD were returned to the Peruvian Government.
For most Peruvians, the person responsible for the corruption during Alberto’s government and the crimes against humanity, was his main adviser and former chief of the National Intelligence Service, Vladimiro Montesinos. During the decade in which Fujimori was President, Montesinos elaborated a web of espionage and extortion to political opposition. He also controlled the editorial content of the most important news services in Peru (both private and state owned).
His control over the media was so powerful, that all media but Channel N refused to participate in the press conference when Congressman Olivera presented a video in which Montesinos paid an opposition congressman $15,000 USD to change sides to the government party.
The rest is history; Fujimori paid $15 million USD to Montesinos, he escaped to Panama and then to Venezuela, and he remained there (most investigations point that he was under Chavez protection, that was by that time President of Venezuela). A year later he was captured by the Venezuelan Police, after a rough diplomatic conflict between Peru and Venezuela.
Networks of Corruption
Fujimori who was under media pressure, which continued to expose the vast network of corruption, in which Peru´s most important businessman, politicians and media owners were implicated, decided to call elections the following year (2001) stating that he would not participate in that electoral process. Some months later, being heavily implicated in the corruption during his government he decided to resign through fax (which was not accepted by the congress, and decided to impeach him) and shelter himself in Japan as he held Japanese citizenship. On September 22nd, 2007 he extradited to Peru, after being captured in Chile.
That seemed the end of Fujimori reign, however on 2006 in the presidential electoral process a dark horse candidate emerged, Ollanta Humala a former Army commander, with strong ties to Hugo Chavez. He attempted a coupe against Fujimori on 2000 in Locumba Province (the same day that Montesinos left to Panama and many believed was just a distraction to facilitate the escape of Montesinos). During that electoral process an important businessman stated that in order to enter the close circle of Ollanta Humala he had to be interviewed by Oscar Lopez Meneses (man of trust of Montesinos who was serving time in jail).
Presidential candidate Ollanta Humala made it to the run-offs but lost to former President Alan Garcia. In 2011, Ollanta Humala marked a strong distance with Hugo Chavez (gaining trust from the business sector in Peru) and made it to the run-offs with Keiko Fujimori (yes, Alberto Fujimori´s daughter), eventually winning and becoming president of Peru.
The problem is, that recent investigations made by the press, have discovered that Oscar Lopez Meneses house (now in liberty) and Oscar Lopez Meneses father´s house, were given security by the government. Among the security were 20 policeman, two Special Tactic Unit vehicles, one Explosive Unit vehicle, one Serenazgo Vehicle and even an APC.
No Responsibilities and the return of Fujimori´s Government?
The Peruvian Government refuses responsibility and states that the corruption comes within the National Police and will investigate to found the key actors under this new corruption scandal. But the main issue is: why was one of the closest persons to Vladimiro Montesinos was given such security privileges?
Some specialized analysts point that the current government is replicating the tactics of Fujimori´s Government and some go even further stating that Alberto Fujimori and Montesinos have not lost any of their power. Many resembled the figure of Adrian Villafuerte, current main advisor of President Humala, to Montesinos.
What’s Going On?
The truth is that having a leader of opposition that is the daughter of one of the most corrupt leaders in Peruvian history, is a reflection on how weak societal memory can be. Also how important is to have a constitution that forbids corrupts and close people to them to ignite the political arena.
I will keep investigating and sharing my findings as the news develop in Peru.