Ahead of Peruvian Presidential Election, Keiko Fujimori Can’t Shake Her Father’s Authoritarian Legacy

Lead Photo: Ernesto Benavides/AFP
Ernesto Benavides/AFP
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“¡Somos las hijas de las campesinas que no pudiste esterilizar!” With this rhythmic chant, the daughters of indigenous women marched through the streets of Lima to protest Keiko Fujimori – the presidential frontrunner and daughter of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori. Currently serving 25 years in prison, his decade in power resulted in the forced sterilizations of at least 300,000 indigenous women, according to The Guardian.

Heading into Sunday’s election, 40-year-old Keiko has a projected 40 percent of the vote, but according to Fox News Latino, “she is expected to fall short of capturing the simple majority of votes needed to avoid a June runoff.” In 2011, Keiko lost in the runoff election.

On April 5 – the 24th anniversary of the autogolpe (the day Alberto took over congressional and legislative duties when he shut down congress and the judiciary) – 30,000 people marched to protest the Fujimoris. As a result, Keiko’s Fuerza Popular party canceled events.

The shameful history disturbing Peru’s electionsWomen with red paint on their legs joined huge protests in Lima this week, to highlight the forced sterilisation of at least 300,000 Peruvians in the 1990s.The abuses were overseen by former president Alberto Fujimori, whose daughter Keiko is now frontrunner in Sunday’s presidential elections.

Posted by The Guardian on Thursday, April 7, 2016

Throughout her run, Keiko has downplayed the sterilizations, misstating that the government only victimized a few hundred women. While she has praised her dad for his work in rural areas, she is opposed to the human rights violations and corruption that occurred under his watch. Keiko, who served as the first lady after Alberto divorced her mother, vowed not to pardon her father – a stance that has changed since the last time she ran for president, according to Bloomberg.

“She was the first lady of a criminal regime that ended the lives of our loved ones, in addition to engaging in serious corruption,” said Gisela Ortiz, whose brother was kidnapped in 1992. At the same time, some of Keiko’s followers back her because of her father, who farmers also commend for defeating the Shining Path, a Maoist insurgency, that killed their loved ones. “When Keiko is president, she will do right, using what she learned from her dad,” Vicente Vicana said. Either way, it seems Keiko can’t step out of her father’s shadow.