Wikileaks. Cable 48368

id: 48368
date: 12/21/2005 22:27
refid: 05LIMA5396
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 05LIMA5332
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the
original cable is not available.
—————– header ends —————-
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LIMA 005396
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/2015
REF: LIMA 5332
Classified By: Political Counselor Alexander Margulies. Reason: 1.4(d)
1. (C) SUMMARY: Ex-President Alberto Fujimori’s brother
Santiago, along with three other members of the Fujimorista
brain-trust, in a 12/14 breakfast with Polcouns, described
their movement’s strategy for the upcoming elections;
inquired as to the USG’s position on the presidential
candidacy of ex-President Fujimori, suggesting that the
latter is the only one who can sidetrack ultra-nationalist
Ollanta Humala; and complained about alleged political
persecution and human rights abuses against them (all four
face criminal prosecutions for their actions during the
Fujimori regime). Polcouns replied that the USG views
Fujimori’s eligibility to run for the presidency as an issue
for the appropriate electoral/judicial authorities to
determine in accordance with the Peruvian Constitution and
laws. With respect to the accusations of political
persecution/human rights violations, Polcouns said that
Embassy’s Human Rights Officer was prepared to review any
specific charges, supported by evidence, that the
Fujimoristas submitted. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) Ex-Congressman Oswaldo Sandoval hosted a breakfast
for Polcouns on 12/14. The other invitees were Santiago
Fujimori, Jaime Yoshiyama (former President of Congress,
ex-President of the 1992-93 Constituent Assembly and
ex-Minister), and Augusto Bedoya (ex-Minister of Transport).
The four Fujimoristas characterized the meeting as an overdue
initiative by their movement to establish contact with the
Embassy so as to keep the USG appraised of the Fujimoristas’
objectives and strategy. Santiago Fujimori and Bedoya did
most of the substantive talking, with Yoshiyama interjecting
to correct misinformation or provide emphasis to specific
points. Sandoval appeared to be the liaison guy, with
minimal input on policy or organization issues. (NOTE:
There are media reports that Bedoya carried out the transfer
of funds for lease of the aircraft that took Alberto Fujimori
from Japan to Chile. END NOTE).
3. (C) According to the four Fujimoristas:
– Santiago Fujimori is the undisputed leader of the
movement in Peru and is in regular communication with his
brother in Chile.
– The four are part of the core Fujimorista brain-trust,
remaining in the background for two reasons: (1) politically
it is more advantageous to have populists like Martha Chavez,
who appeal to the poorest sectors of the population where
Fujimori’s support is strongest, out front; and (2) the four
are all involved in business dealings and face criminal
charges linked to their service with the Fujimori regime, and
are concerned that their commercial interests would suffer
and/or they would open themselves to “increased political
persecution” should they be seen as actively engaging in
– They are committed to bringing about Alberto Fujimori’s
re-election to the Presidency and inquired as to the USG’s
view on this (Polcouns replied that we consider Fujimori’s
eligibility to run for the presidency to be an issue for the
appropriate electoral and/or judicial authorities to
determine in accordance with the Peruvian Constitution and
– Fujimori’s detention in Chile was an unexpected blow and
damaged the movement politically, but they are hopeful that
he will be freed on bail in early January, once Peru files
its extradition request. Once freed from confinement,
Fujimori will be in a better position to rally the faithful.
– The movement’s original strategy was to combine the three
Fujimorista parties (Si Cumple, Nueva Mayoria, Cambio 90) in
one alliance. A 12/6 decision by the National Electoral
Board’s (JNE) Office of Party Organization Registration,
however, rejected the inscription of the proposed alliance on
the grounds that Alberto Fujimori, who was proposed as the
alliance’s titular head, was ineligible to occupy this post
as a result of a 2001 vote by Congress to disqualify him from
holding public office for 10 years. The Constitutional
Tribunal, in a case to which Fujimori was not/not a party,
subsequently stated that this disqualification also prohibits
those it covers from running for public office and restricts
their political rights.
– The Fujimoristas at first considered appealing this
decision to the JNE on the grounds that (1) the 2001 Congress
vote was insufficient (a simple majority of 37 legislators
present had voted for the disqualification, while a
subsequent Constitutional Tribunal decision provided that a
vote by two-thirds of the Congress — 80 legislators — is
required to remove a president), (2) the Constitutional
Tribunal ruling interpreting the effect of the 10-year
congressional prohibition is not/not in accordance with the
express wording of the Constitution (NOTE: Article 100 of
the Constitution empowers Congress to disqualify public
officials from holding office for up to 10 years, but does
not specifically state that they cannot run for office.
Article 10 of the Organic Law on Elections, however, does
provide that public functionaries disqualified from holding
office cannot vote or be elected. END NOTE); and (3) an
electoral alliance is a private political organization,
not/not a “public office,” and so falls outside the bounds of
the congressional prohibition.
– After due consideration, however, the decision was taken
not/not to appeal. This was based first on the brain-trust
concluding that the key JNE ruling will be on whether Alberto
Fujimori is eligible to run for office, and that they should
not expose their legal hand on less important issues.
Secondly, the Fujimorista leadership realized that splitting
the proposed alliance in two would enure to their benefit, as
they would then have a back-up electoral vehicle should the
JNE disqualify Fujimori.
– As a result, Si Cumple will go it alone, presenting a
presidential ticket with Alberto Fujimori at the top.
Meanwhile, Cambio 90 and Nueva Mayoria have formed the
Alliance for the Future (AF for short, Fujimori’s initials),
and will nominate an as-yet undecided ticket that does not
include the ex-President. If Fujimori is permitted to run,
then AF will withdraw its presidential slate from the race.
– The Fujimoristas have had discussion with JNE
magistrates, and believe that the JNE will permit Fujimori to
run, even though technically he cannot take office.
(COMMENT: Polcouns raised the issue of Fujimori’s
eligibility to run for the Presidency with JNE President
Enrique Mendoza at a 12/14 reception. Mendoza said that the
JNE will apply the constitution and law, adding that Article
10 of the Organic Law on Elections is dispositive. END
– If Fujimori runs and wins the election, they expect that
the sitting Congress will vote to lift the prohibition on his
taking office. If it does not, then the new Congress will do
– If Fujimori is prevented from running, then the
Fujimoristas do not/not expect to win the presidency, but
they still hope to win a sizable legislative bloc, which will
pressure for the disqualification of Fujimori to be lifted.
(COMMENT: Keiko Fujimori, the highly popular daughter of
Alberto Fujimori and ex-Acting First Lady, has announced that
she will lead the Alliance for the Future. Presumably she
will also head its list of congressional nominees. END
4. (C) The four Fujimoristas claimed that, under their
leadership, a new Fujimori government would emulate the
positive actions of Fujimori’s first term, while avoiding the
massive corruption of its second term. They also emphasized
that Fujimori was the best bet to stop surging
ultra-nationalist presidential contender Ollanta Humala,
noting that many of those shifting to Humala are Fujimori
supporters disheartened by the ex-President’s captivity in
5. (C) Polcouns acknowledged that Fujimorista followers
seem to be migrating to the Humala camp, but pointed out that
over the past year Humala’s candidacy has been highly
publicized, if not outright supported, by pro-Fujimori media
organs like daily “La Razon.” Santiago Fujimori admitted
that this was the case, indicating that in retrospect this
was unfortunate. He then declared that the USG should have
no/no political concerns over the election of a strong
Fujimorista legislative bloc, as this would ally itself with
center-right presidential candidate Lourdes Flores’ Unidad
Nacional alliance, “with whom we have excellent relations,”
in the next Congress.
6. (C) Santiago Fujimori took the lead in bringing up the
issue of human rights, arguing that there were “no
systematic” violations under the Fujimori regime. He
declared that the real human rights violations are occurring
today, with former Fujimori regime officials like those at
the table being the victims of political persecution. The
other three Fujimoristas present firmly assented, with each
complaining that “unfounded” criminal allegations against
them are being slowly processed by the criminal justice
system, negatively affecting their business activities and,
in some case, preventing them from traveling outside the
country. With breaking voice and tears welling in his eyes,
Santiago resumed his litany of complaints, embarking upon a
lengthy description of his mother’s hardships coping with a
judicial embargo on her bank accounts and properties. He
concluded by asking Polcouns for the USG to recognize these
alleged human rights abuses.
7. (C) Polcouns replied that he was unaware of the facts in
the criminal cases against his four interlocutors, but said
that the Embassy’s Human Rights Officer was prepared to
review any specific allegations and supporting evidence that
the Fujimoristas cared to put in writing. Polcouns
acknowledged that the Peruvian criminal justice system was
overloaded and inefficient, but observed that this is a
problem common to most defendants, not just the Fujimoristas,
noted that some American companies have had problems with
cases that move at the speed of continental drift, and
concluded that while this was regrettable, it did not by
itself constitute a violation of defendants’ human rights.
8. (C) COMMENT: This group of Fujimoristas claim to be the
real brains and brawn of the movement, but their leadership
is, in fact, in dispute. Alberto Fujimori’s imprisonment
clearly has deprived them of the direction they need, and
their confidence and courage have suffered accordingly. The
four looked less like political conspirators planning a
return to power and more like a group of retired business
executives sharing drinks at their country club while
reminiscing about their glory days in the corporate jungle.
Their presentation to Polcouns was unfocused, shifting from
topic to topic as the Fujimoristas sought to find an argument
that would spark a positive response. In the end, their main
pitch was that since much of Humala’s support seems to be
coming from voters who previously backed Alberto Fujimori,
the way to stop Humala is by letting Fujimori run. While it
does indeed appear to be the case that Humala has inherited a
substantial part of the Fujimori vote (Reftel), there are
other options to wean these voters away from the former
without promoting the latter. END COMMENT.
=======================CABLE ENDS============================
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