Thousands are expected to march in the last major protest against Peruvian presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori on Tuesday, in what is being billed as the biggest action yet against the controversial right-wing presidential candidate.
A coalition called “Keiko No Va,” or @KeikoNoVa2016, is organizing the demonstration. The coalition consists of social movements, labor unions, youth collectives, student organizations, women's rights groups, cultural organizations and groups defending the victims of the former dictatorship.
Keiko, the daughter of former dictator Alberto Fujimori, is currently ahead in polls but protest organizers believe they can impact public opinion by pointing out past and current links between “Fujimorismo” and corruption, authoritarianism, drug trafficking and human rights violations.
The last major march against Fujimori, which took place on April 5 during the first round of presidential elections, brought together an estimated 50,000 people in Lima alone.
But even more people are expected to march this time around due to previous presidential candidates such as leftist Veronika Mendoza, centrist Julio Guzman and former ruling party candidate Daniel Urresti throwing their support behind Fujimori's opponent, the right-wing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. All three have warned that the return of Fujimorismo will be a disaster for the country, and will be participating in the march.
Alberto Fujimori is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity and corruption during his reign from 1990 to 2000. During the elder Fujimori's rule, Congress was closed down and the military massacred thousands of innocent civilians in the name of fighting “terrorism.”
During the dictatorship, journalists, activists and political opponents were kidnapped by government death squads and a staggering 270,00 Indigenous women wereforcefully sterilized between 1995 to 2000. It is also estimated that a total of US$600 million dollars was stolen by the government under Alberto Fujimori, leading Transparency International to rank him as the seventh most corrupt head of state in the past two decades.
But the scandals of Fujimorismo did not end with the government of Alberto. Congressman Kenji Fujimori, the brother of Keiko, owns property where 100 kilos of cocaine were found. The party's current number one choice for Congress, Cecilia Chacon, has previously been charged with corruption. And until last week, Joaquin Ramirez was the secretary-general of Keiko's party but was forced to resign due to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency investigation over money laundering.
Peru's runoff election takes place on Sunday and the latest Ipsos poll shows Fujimori leading Kuczynski by 43 percent to 38 percent, an increase on the three percent lead she enjoyed a week before.