During the 1990s, Peru was governed by the regime of President Alberto Fujimori. Institutional opposition to his aggressive neo-liberal policies that included fiscal austerity and large scale privatization was eliminated in 1992 when Fujimori dissolved Congress and changed the country's constitution to give himself more power, paving the way for a period of authoritarian rule.
"By 2000, the neo-liberal push was grinding to a halt with the onset of the Andean recession, and Fujimori had lost his popular support as a result of bribery scandals and evidence of fraud in his election to a constitutionally questionable third term. In the face of popular resistance, Fujimori resigned and fled Peru for Japan to escape corruption and war crimes charges stemming from his counter-insurgency efforts against the Maoist Shining Path guerrilla movement". 
Trial for corruption and human rights abuses
In 2005, Fujimori voluntarily left Japan for Chile thinking he would eventually make a political comeback in Peru. Instead in 2007 he was extradited from Chile to Peru to face charges for corruption and human rights abuses. Fujimori's intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos is accussed of crimes also. The New York Times wrote, "While Mr. Fujimori was in self-imposed exile in Japan and Chile, Mr. Montesinos was a useful scapegoat. Reports of the spymaster’s excesses were legendary, including bribing journalists and congressmen, wiretapping politicians, embezzling public funds and creating secretive death squads.
"Mr. Fujimori says he is innocent of all charges linking him to those activities, but evidence accumulated by state investigators suggests otherwise. The most damning testimony connects him to the Colina Group, a group of former military intelligence officers created to carry out assassinations in the early 1990s."  
The Calgary Herald writes about the trial on May 10, 2008, "Peru's ex-president, Alberto Fujimori, isn't paying attention to his trial for rights abuses, and instead sleeps, laughs and plots his party's political comeback, the prosecutor and lawyers on his case charged Friday."
"I have advised the court Fujimori is not paying attention to (witnesses's) testimony, because he falls asleep, and now it turns out that when he is not asleep he is amusing himself planning political campaigns," said prosecutor Jose Pelaez, who is seeking 30 years in jail for Fujimori. One of the charges is ordering two death-squad operations in 1991 and 1992 that killed at least 24 people. He has denied waging a "dirty war" against insurgents during his 1990-2000 rule. 
Related SourceWatch articles
- Alberto Fujimori, Bartleby.com/The Columbia Encyclopedia, accessed May 2008.
- Michael A. Weinstein, "Cycle of Instability in the Andes: Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru", Power and Interest News Report, January 31, 2005.
- Simon Romero, "As Ex-President Faces Trial, a Reckoning for Peru", New York Times, September 25, 2007.
- "Exiled Fujimori arrives in Peru to face charges", CNN, September 23, 2007.
- "Fujimori sleeps, laughs, irritates", Calgary Herald, May 10, 2008.
- Angel Paez, "Fujimori Family Secret Bank Accounts Uncovered", IPS, December 2, 2005.
- Jean Luis Arce and Terry Wade, "Peru's Fujimori pleads to take off socks at trial", ABC News, March 26, 2008.
- "Peru general says Fujimori was death squad leader", AFP, May 14, 2008.
- Profile: Alberto Fujimori, BBC, December 12, 2007.