Keiko Sophia Fujimori (born May 25, 1975), the daughter and First Lady of former Peru dictator Alberto Fujimori, has never had a job in her lifetime. Today, in 2011, she is running for the presidency of Peru–a job her father held for ten years during which time he had assassinated thousands of his opponents, tortured tens of thousands including his wife, and siphoned off millions of dollars from the National Treasury.
While Alberto Fujimori was originally a teacher at the agricultural “university” in La Molina, he was considered poor, but rising to the rank of dictator of Peru his daughter (who supplanted her mother as First Lady) was able to attend one of the most expensive universities in the USA: Columbia in Manhattan and then Boston in Massachusetts–where a year’s tuition cost more than the average Peruano would earn in a lifetime.
Keiko Fujimori has been involved in corruption in Perú throughout her entire lifetime. Her own mother, Congresswoman Susana Shizuko Higuchi Miyagawa (born April 26, 1950) has described her daughter ” [she appears as an] angel to outsiders, but for me she has devil’s face” (“Tiene angel para la gente de afuera, pero para mi tiene cara de diablo. Son intimidates…”. See: “El dia que todo cambío” as a part of “Dolor de madre” in El Popular 8 May 2011, p. 4) and is a replica of deceit and self-aggrandizement. The Congresswoman and mother of Keiko was one of the first people in Perú to allege criminal misdoings by her husband, condemned as a criminal against human rights by the Supreme Court of Perú in 2010 (after returning from a self-imposed exile in Japan where he considered running for the Japanese senate) and in 1992, Susana denounced several of her Fujimori in-laws for corruption in connection with the sale of used clothing donated by Japan for the Perú poor. Taking a courageously bold step in 1994, Susana Higuchi publicly condemned her husband as a tyrant and his government as corrupt detailing crimes, extortions and more–even revealing that her husband and daughter had tortured her at least 500 times in numerous secret prisons similar to George Bush’s Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, with Alberto Fujimori claiming that the scars were the result of moxibustion to treat her lumbago (Japan Weekly Monitor 4 March 2002 at http://business.highbeam.com/410578/article-1G1-84261585/fujimori-counters-exwife-torture-claim). Alberto’s outlandish claim came even though Susana showed the scars of beatings and worse to television networks. Alberto, linked with Keiko, denied the charges and were championed by the totally corrupt government of Japan. Alberto Fujimori, crazed by possessing absolute power (he suspended the Perú Constitution, discarded the Perú Congress (April 14, 1992 at http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-14/news/wr-236_1_president-fujimori), silenced the Perú Supreme Court (April 29, 1992 at http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-29/news/mn-897_1_peruvian-congress), gave his chief spy Vladimiro Montesinos more than $15 million from the financially unstable Perú Treasury (CNN, May 9, 2001 and http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/peru/montesinos-paid.htm; http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2001-05-10/news/0105100265_1_peru-fujimori-vladimiro), and had countless students and teachers murdered in cold blood (http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=41929 and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7986069.stm which presents the comments of those who supported Fujimori’s butchering his opponents, and others, from the mountain regions who supported it as a way to attack The Shining Path whom they claimed to be terrorists; for the Supreme Court of Perú verdict see: http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/fujimori_faces_justice) after consulting with his daughter) formally stripped his wife of the title First Lady in August 1994, and illegally appointed their elder daughter, Keiko, First Lady in her place. Fujimori had token support from the US Supreme Court appointed president George W. Bush who publicly proclaimed he wanted Constitutional law restored in Perú and “registered strong disapproval” of Fujimori, but privately agreed with Fujimori that torture was necessary and instructed the US Pentagon to continue training Green Berets in Perú to root out narcotrafficking (http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-11/news/mn-155_1_peru-training); with the pressure from John Wu of the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law, Bush would approve of torture of noncombatants as well as combatants at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq based on the lies of one man. As the Los Angeles Times reported: “But Bush’s firm rhetoric masked the weakness of the position of the United States and other democracies in the hemisphere in dealing with Fujimori’s decision to shut down Congress and cripple the court system (ibid.)“.
While I have written at length about her tenure as counsellor to her father’s dissolving Congress, shredding the Peru Constitution, and engaging in mass murders, it is now coming to light numerous questions about theft of money from the Peru Treasury to pay her, and her siblings, expensive education from the Peru Treasury (See: “El fiscal consideró que se debe realizar una investigación exhaustiva sobre los estudios de Keiko Fujimori en el extranjero. ‘Yo creo que acá la fiscalía tiene un reto importante, hacer una investigación profunda y exhaustiva’, refirió” in El Comercio at http://elcomercio.pe/politica/491611/noticia-fiscal-avelino-guillen-pide-investigar-keiko-fujimori-pago-estudios-extranjero).
The sources of Keiko Fujimori’s extraordinary expenses at Columbia, Boston, and Kansas show a distinct origin, as detailed here:
The daughter of Alberto Fujimori, who acted as First Lady after her parents separated and is now a congresswoman, has given a number of different explanations for the origins of the money, which she says amounted to 556,000 dollars.
At a recent press conference in Congress, she said her father had a personal fortune of over one million dollars, plenty to cover the expenses of his children, Keiko Sofía, Hiro Alberto, Sachi Marcela and Kenji Gerardo, at the universities of Boston, Columbia and Kansas.
Keiko Fujimori, who has promised to pardon her father, currently serving a 25-year sentence for human rights violations, if she becomes president, said that her family had funds from three sources, totalling just over 1.2 million dollars.
She said her family had 400,000 dollars when her father took office in 1990. Rosa Fujimori, her aunt, lent her father 150,000 dollars, and 669,500 dollars were the proceeds from the 1999 sale of a property he owned in the municipality of Surco, in Lima province.
However, in 2001, when the former president was investigated for illicit enrichment, the parliamentary commissions in charge of the investigation concluded that his bank accounts did not show savings of 400,000 dollars, nor could his income explain the accumulation of such a sum.
They also found that the loan of 150,000 dollars to Fujimori by his sister Rosa was immediately handed over to his transport and housing minister, Antonio Páucar Carbajal, and was therefore not paid to any U.S. university.
And an expert audit ordered in 2003 by Supreme Court Justice José Luis Lecaros, who opened the investigation for illicit enrichment, confirmed that the 669,500 dollars Fujimori obtained from the property sale were not used to pay tuition at the universities of Boston, Columbia or Kansas.
The experts’ report indicated Fujimori kept 214,750 dollars in cash from the sale proceeds, and 167,376 dollars were deposited by Keiko Fujimori into her private account in Citibank in New York. She withdrew the money in 2001, after she and her brothers and sister had completed their studies.
The experts found that the money supposedly intended to pay for the studies of Fujimori’s two sons Hiro and Kenji, a further 167,376 dollars, turned up instead in an account at a Bank of Brazil branch in Panama belonging to their uncle by marriage, Rosa Fujimori’s husband and the former Peruvian ambassador to Japan, Víctor Aritomi Shinto.
The experts’ report for the Supreme Court concluded that it was “duly proven” that the beneficiaries did not use the money to finance their studies abroad.
“This is a campaign to discredit me that has been going on ever since I have been in first place in the opinion polls as a presidential candidate,” Keiko Fujimori said. “Everything has been properly proven: my father had more than a million dollars to cover tuition and upkeep for my brothers and sister and me, which cost 556,000 dollars.”
The prosecution of Alberto Fujimori for illicit enrichment, in which improper financing of his children’s higher education was one of 29 charges against him, was cut short because the former president fled to Japan, taking advantage of his dual nationality, after he was removed as president by Congress in 2000 on the grounds of being “morally unfit” to govern.
As IPS reported, David Waisman Rjavinsthi, legislator (Congresita) who was born in Romania and fled with his father in 1935 with the rise of Adolf Hitler, was the ex-chair of the Second Investigative commission noted that “Montesinos (in prison for corruption and human rights abuses) has said that Fujimori asked him for money to simulate the purchase of the property, and that a group of businessmen willing to lend a hand in the operation was convened. [Montesinos Torres gained his first real notoriety when he defended 1990 Peruvian presidential candidate Fujimori against accusations of fraudulent real estate dealings. The paperwork in that case mysteriously disappeared and the charges were quietly dropped.] The Supreme Court experts confirmed that it was a phony sale,” Waisman said.
Waisman was referring to the statement Montesinos made to the Alvarado Commission on Apr. 25, 2002. Fujimori’s powerful former security adviser said on that occasion that “the payment (of tuition) for Fujimori’s children was made with cash that I gave him (Fujimori). Later on, he (Fujimori) simulated the sale of the house, with some persons posing as buyers. It was a fictitious sale” (See: Angel Paez, “Sins of Her Father Visit Fujimori’s Daughter, IPS at http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47094). Waisman was especially unpopular with Alberto and Keiko Fujimori, when he came out publicly against Alberto’s disastrous economic policies (In 1998 he was elected head of the small business committee in the National Industrial Union. Waisman is unusual as a man and a politician in Peru, for he believes in reasoned arguments and not macho displays of arrogance. In 2002, independent congressman Eittel Ramos Cuya challenged Waisman to a duel with pistols on a Lima beach (See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2283040.stm). Waisman rejected the challenge to settle a dispute over alleged insults. Ramos claimed
Waisman had insulted him after Ramos criticised First Lady Eliane Karp for saying “two-bit parties” were trying to undermine her husband. Ramos complained bitterly that the vice president “called my attitude cowardly because I said what I said about a woman.” Ramos argued that his invitation to Mr Waisman to a duel was a matter of honour for him. Waisman responded that he was a civilised and peaceful man, and his moral beliefs prevented him from trying to end another’s life. He serves in the Peru congress 2000 to 2011, representing Lima.)
Considering the numerous crimes committed by her father’s Administration, and the later pardons issued to those who acted for Alberto Fujimori, Keiko shed the legendary crocodile tears when lamenting that some pardons were issued: “Fujimori también consideró que fue “un error político” el indulto “al corrupto” José Enrique Crousillat (during the scandal involving the videos that showed former head of Peru’s intelligence service Vladmiro Montesinos giving bribes for favorable media coverage, Crousillat and his station were implicated for receiving payment for favorable coverage for the campaign of former President Alberto Fujimori; see: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/03/18/peru-the-pardon-of-jose-enrique-crousillat/), pues no se cumplieron los requisitos que justificaban la gracia por cuestiones humanitarias. Sin embargo, cuestionó que este derecho haya sido revocado por considerarlo un “error legal”.
When questioned about her own lack of experience (never having a job, never having to suffer like the majority of the impoverished living in squalor in Peru, never having a negligible education which is what the majority of Peru obtains from a corrupt school system and its union SUTEP, Keiko Fujimori went further: ‘Sobre las críticas de algunos disidentes de su partido como Diego Uceda, quien ha dicho que ella “no está preparada para gobernar el país’, la congresista respondió que el el 99% de militantes de su agrupación apoya Fuerza 2011. ‘Si hay una persona con intereses personales tiene las puertas abiertas’, dijo” (See: http://elcomercio.pe/politica/454518/noticia-keiko-fujimori-sobre-encuentro-kouri-montesinos-fue-falta-etica-no-legal)
What the corrupt government of the Dictator Fujimori had attempted to hide from congressional and public scrutiny was the nefarious dealings he had with Vladimiro Ilyich Montesinos Torres, his chief spy, whom he paid (as was shown in documents introduced to the Supreme Court of Peru during his trial for crimes against humanity) $15 million USA dollars. Keiko maintained a healthy and close relationship with the mass murderer Montesinos Torres (Montesinos was trained as a Cadet at the US Army School of the Americas, a center devoted to torture techniques and the overthrow of Latin American governments to sympathetic to the poor and landless, in 1965;
In September 1976, Montesinos was linked to a plan to “crush the power of the people and the workers organized into unions, political parties, progressive magazines, and also patriotic young officers and other ranks, and progressive sectors of the Church” with the full support of the cardinal-archbishop of Lima. He became a lawyer, began representing drug traffickers and policemen linked to drug trafficking, and amassed a fortune. In the early 1980’s, he signed legal documents on behalf of a Colombian client for the purchase or lease of two buildings in Lima that were later raided and found to house cocaine processing: see: http://www.desaparecidos.org/peru/tort/montesinos/eng.html), who helped her, and her brother and sister, further their education abroad at the expense of the people of Peru–the majority who remained illiterate, especially in the mountains and the Amazon.
While Keiko Fujimori was living in Boston, Montesinos Torres had her duties as First Lady filled by former minister and lawmaker Jaime Yoshiyama under the direction of the lawyer Estela Valdivia who Montesinos Torres ordered to write two messages on what the government would do to help her. Yoshiyama was quick to point out that the duty was that of a pawn, and that Yoshiyama was the pawn in a power play by the powerful Fujimoris. Although a prisoner, Yoshiyama Tanaka (born 1944; he was a Minister of the Presidency [President of the Democratic Constitutional Congress] under Alberto Fujimori; On June 21, 2006 judicial proceedings were initiated against Yoshiyama and twelve other former ministers of Alberto Fujimori for their involvement in the 1992 self-coup (See: Poder Judicial del Perú, Instalan juicio por autogolpe del 5 de abril de 1992. June 21, 2006.). On December 2007, Yoshiyama was found guilty on a charge of rebellion but was only given a four-year suspended sentence as he was considered a secondary accomplice; see: Poder Judicial del Perú, Sala penal especial de Corte Suprema hace precisiones sobre caso autogolpe. December 5, 2007) realized the Keiko considered prisoners at best second class citizens and treated all with contempt (See: “A Yoshiyama le dijo: “Yo estoy privado de mi libertad, pero no de mis recuerdos” y a la hija del ex mandatario: “Keiko de Villanella considera a los ‘presos’ ciudadanos de segunda categoría y como tal los trata, olvidándose (de) que su padre también es un preso. Yo estoy preso, pero no estoy aburrido. Aburrido me sentía cuando tenía que cumplir los encargos que su papi me hacía cuando ella vivía en Boston” (El Comercio at http://elcomercio.pe/politica/686147/noticia-keiko-fujimori-esta-claro-que-montesinos-quiere-vengarse-perjudicarme-me-odia). This is one reason why Keiko wants the death penalty restored, noting how often her father Alberto had his opponents gunned down in cold blood–being a far worse terrorist than any member of The Shining Path and do far further damage to Peru.