Alberto Fujimori

There is a good website for the trial of ex-President Alberto Fujimori, for very serious human rights violations in Peru. The trial begins 10 December 2007 in Lima.

This video has a slightly anti-Asian frame (Fujimori fled to Japan and claimed Japanese citizenship at one point, and he is known in Peru as “El chino”) but it also has footage of tanks rolling in, placards about the disappeared, and people searching for remains. The “self-coup” of 1992 dissolved Congress and reorganized the judiciary, so that all power resided with the executive branch – which then ruled by decree.

We are pretty well set up to have the same thing happen here, so this is a double preview: of what could happen, and then of the human rights trial which in this case is actually taking place and which is doing so only 15 years later, most fortunately.


I am of course fascinated with strange rules, incarceration, propaganda, brainwashing and fascist shifts for personal reasons having to do with Reeducation. I have boiled Reeducation’s message down yet further, to one simple sentence: it is wrong to be who you are! This is the internalized sentence which breaks my concentration and keeps me stir crazy much of the time.

So in three simple phrases, anti- and de-Reeducation involves taking and holding: autonomy, pleasure, and being who one is. These things are most elementary and would have gone without saying before Reeducation. Since, however, they have not seemed so simple. Reeducation is also on trial for human rights violations. I preside, and I am going to exile it.


8 thoughts on “Alberto Fujimori

  1. Yes. During the summer I figured out that it was all wrong and that I should not negotiate with it, but throw it out the window. However I had not yet learned to recognize all of its demons and horsemen.

  2. The trial should prove to be an interesting piece of political theatre. I wonder if he’ll do the dirty and show how he’s been sponsored by a well known state-sponsor of terror a few thousand miles north of Peru?

    What kind of penalty is he looking at if convicted?

  3. I think it’s life in prison. Political theatre, yes, and what he’ll reveal, you’re right, I hadn’t thought of that! Maybe we’ve promised him that if he doesn’t spill it we will save him somehow?

  4. Please help me remember but did he not run for, or hold, public office in Japan?

    This is going to be a trial to behold. I wonder how much of what appears as evidence may even prompt a thinking toward a truth commission, even?


  5. Hi Ridwan! There has already been a truth commission and it is my understanding that those investigations are part of what prompt the extradition etc. of Fujimori:

    To my knowledge he didn’t hold public office in Japan but what was mysterious was, why did he retain citizenship there having held public office elsewhere … ? … Japan allows dual citizenship but I hear not if one goes so far as to become President of another country. There was a lot of discussion about why Japan protected him so closely if he were really Peruvian … what his actual citizenship status was in both countries … etc. Supposedly he was born in Lima which was why he could legally be President of Peru but then questions started to be raised about the authenticity of his paperwork and his actual place of birth.

  6. Thanks for the link here Z. I had somehow glossed over my memory of reading about the TRC in Peru. It came after South Africa’s TRC.

    Yeah I expect that folks have a lot of questions for Fujimori. I always found his presidency somewhat strange.

    Will look to follow his case.


  7. Yes – it was strange from the get-go although many claim he was necessary in the first term to control the Shining Path. This does not convince me and/but I do not know enough to know what the *feasible* alternatives were . . .

    Here’s an old article I don’t agree with all of but which does offer an interesting perspective.

    The runoff was between Fujimori and Vargas Llosa, a whiter rightist, and a lot of the excitement was about Fuji’s not being of European descent and being supportive of small businesses. He also had a lot of religious support.

    My professorial friends were all for the United Left – an alternative to more Soviet-esque (I think) Marxist types and also to the Maoist Shining Path – but only the right polled well; this had to do from what I understand with the devastation of the economy and the corruption under Alan Garcia, then the incumbent (and now President again).

    It is my impression that the fear of the Shining Path was really whipped up / blown out of proportion for political reasons. I do not know that I am exactly right about this, though.

    [Oooh I would so much rather start studying up on Peruvian history right now than keep grading papers!]


    On papers and pain: that is another of the Banes of Reeducation. You *should not put problems into their proper perspective,* that is “denial.” You should let problems TAKE OVER. Otherwise you are “unfeeling.”

    That is how I was driven insane by Reeducation but it is also how they whip up fear of terrorists among the populace(s)!

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