In open defiance of Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR)the Constitutional Court of Peru ordered that the former autocrat Alberto Fujimori, sentenced in 2009 to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity, left Barbadillo prison at six a.m. on Wednesday. This measure was expected by the children of the man who governed this country between 1990 and 2000 and, amid strong protests, he flew to Japan only to return extradited, seven years later, from Chile.
This decision goes against what was decided by the IACHR, which is a supranational body. “The judgments of the Court must be followed and executed“, just like the resolutions of the Supreme Court, but in this case, the one that prevails is the decision of the Constitutional Court”, anticipated last week the president of the TC, Francisco Morales Saravia, and this body maintained its determination, despite the wave of refusals.
The judges who voted in favor of the release of the former dictator were Francisco Morales Saravia, Luz Pacheco Zerga and Gustavo Gutiérrez Ticse. For his part, Helder Dominguez Haro described the judgment favorable to the former president as unacceptable.
“(Fujimori) took on this mandate with great joy“, said his lawyer Elio Riera. Regarding the controversy with the IACHR, he highlighted the relevance of the TC’s decision: “the right to sovereignty prevails.” However, specialists hope that the Inter-American Court will maintain its position and overturn decision.
According to the newspaper La República, the IACHR has already asked Peru to report on compliance with the resolution it published on April 7, 2022 and which goes against Fujimori’s release from prison. “The State is requested to transmit, no later than December 6, 2023, a report in which it presents its observations on the aforementioned brief of the representatives, taking into account what was ordered by this Court in the Resolution of April 7, 2023 . “.
A controversy that has lasted for six years
The conflict dates back to the end of 2017. Six years ago, on Christmas Eve, the former autocrat obtained a humanitarian pardon from President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who sought to curry favor with Fuerza Popular, the party that he leads. Keiko Fujimori and he was then in the majority in a Congress which surrounded him. The advantage was immediately removed. But the Fujimoris redoubled their efforts and in March 2022, the TC declared a habeas corpus favorable to them.
Fujimori was sentenced to 25 years in prison, which will end in 2032, for his responsibility in the so-called Barrios Altos and La Cantuta massacres, carried out in 1992, in which 25 people died. “As relatives of the victims, we are condemned to live through the months of December between anxiety, anger and feeling like second-class citizens. Our rights are inferior to the undue freedom of a criminal. The 2017 pardon was negotiated. Unacceptable decision,” declared Gisela Ortiz, on behalf of the relatives of those murdered.
“We express our rejection of the decision of the Constitutional Court to release Alberto Fujimori, a person who has never asked for forgiveness for crimes against humanity, nor did it compensate the victims. All our solidarity goes to them,” said feminist Manuela Ramos.