Leftist President Ollanta Humala may soon decide the fate of authoritarian former President Alberto Fujimori, who is five years into a 25 year sentence for illegal wiretapping, embezzling public funds and human rights violations. In April 2009 a Peruvian court found Fujimori guilty of ordering the Grupo Colina death squad to kill leftist guerrillas from the Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement) and the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path).
Keiko Fujimori, the dictator’s daughter, and a former conservative presidential candidate herself, stated publicly on 27 September 2012 that her family intends to present a request for the pardon and release of her father on humanitarian grounds. Alberto Fujimori is 74 years old and has undergone operations for oral cancer. Yet Fujimori retains a level of respect and popularity despite his harsh method of leadership. Peru has had one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America in the past decade, and many Peruvians credit Fujimori with laying the groundwork for economic development.
Humala lead an unsuccessful military uprising against Fujimori when he was in power in Locumba Peru on 29 October 2000. Yet now Humala appears inclined to pardon the former president, a move which may even serve to fortify Humala’s own political support. Though Humala ran as a populist, he has governed as a centrist. But according to Peruvian law, he cannot affirmatively pardon someone convicted of human rights violations, they or their family must request the pardon.