Priest, activists applaud conviction of Fujimori for rights abuses

LIMA, Peru (CNS) — The conviction of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori on charges related to human rights violations during his administration shows that “justice is becoming real” in the country, said a priest who served on the truth commission that investigated those and other cases.

The April 7 sentence described facts that “authorities had never wanted to acknowledge,” Father Gaston Garatea told Catholic News Service. Peruvians “can be proud of the quality of the sentence,” he said.

In a 711-page ruling with more than 1,000 footnotes, the court ruled that as president Fujimori, now 70, was responsible for the death-squad murders of 15 people at a party in 1991 and nine students and a university professor in 1992. It also said he was responsible for the abduction of two political opponents April 5, 1992, after he closed Congress and seized authoritarian powers with the support of the military.

The three-judge panel sentenced the former president to the maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and ordered that he pay damages to the victims’ relatives and four survivors of the 1991 attack.

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