Kenji, the youngest of Alberto Fujimori’s heirs, is sentenced to prison in Peru | International

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Kenji Fujimori is escorted to the Supreme Court of Peru, in Lima.STRINGER (AFP)

Since Alberto Fujimori ceased to rule Peru at the turn of this century, his heirs have balanced on a dangerous swing: they have either scratched for power or seen the world behind bars. His sister Keiko Fujimori, who served more than a year in pretrial detention between 2018 and 2019, accused of money laundering, is joined by his brother Kenji, a minor of five years, who has just been sentenced to effective prison for influence peddling. aggravated. The anecdotal aspect of the matter is that it all arose as a result of a public complaint by Fuerza Popularthe party led by Keiko, the woman who was close to being the first president of Peru three times.

In March 2018, when Kenji Fujimori was a congressman, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was still Head of State, the youngest of the Fujimori was recorded while negotiating votes to frustrate the second vacancy attempt against Kuczynski in exchange for the delivery of public works. As the political scientist José Alejandro Godoy narrates in his book Fujimori’s heirs: The legacy of the last dictator (Debate, 2022), who recorded it was the former Popular Force congressman Moisés Mamani, thanks to a tiny camera on his watch. Hence the case was baptized as the mamanivideos.

“Inside Fuerza Popular it was known that Kenji Fujimori and some ministers continued to hold talks with their most disgruntled members to try to convince them to change sides. The order – it is still not clear who gave it – was for some of these parliamentarians to surreptitiously record the coordination they had with government officials. Moisés Mamani, Humberto Ticlla and Modesto Figueroa, little known outside their regions, were chosen for the task. The first, a congressman from Puno, was the most active of the three”, says Godoy. Mamani, who died in 2020 due to covid-19, used a strategy that convinced Kenji Fujimori that he was someone who could be trusted: he was in favor of pardoning his father, sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes against humanity.

The extracts from these recordings ended up blowing up the government of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who resigned in March 2018 after serving 600 days as head of the Palace. In addition, a constitutional complaint was approved against Kenji Fujimori and others involved. In January 2020 the accusation was presented, but it was not until January 2022 that the trial began for two crimes: bribery (bribes) and influence peddling.

On Tuesday, the Special Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court sentenced Kenji Fujimori to four years and six months in effective prison for finding him responsible for the second crime (he was acquitted of the first). Also to his advisor Aleixei Toledo, and former congressmen Guillermo Bocángel and Bienvenido Ramírez. Keiko’s younger brother has also been disqualified from holding any public office for the next 18 months, and has been fined $130,000 as civil reparation to be paid among the four involved. However, the execution of the sentence has been suspended, since it must first be confirmed by a second instance. That is, the Appeals Chamber.

“The Public Ministry has been able to demonstrate that Kenji Fujimori, Guillermo Bocángel, Bienvenido Ramírez and Alexei Toledo offered the congressmen Moisés Mamani, Carlos Ticlla, Modesto Figueroa gifts and benefits so that they sell their public function and their function of control and sanction. This conduct occurred in the context of the second vacancy”, says the sentence.

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At the moment, until the appeal is resolved, Kenji Fujimori will not be arrested or taken to a prison. But he must put himself up to the law: go to the summons, not be absent from his place of residence without judicial permission and appear before the court on the first day of each month. Otherwise, his sentence could be brought forward.

When Fujimori Sr. became president of Peru, his son Kenji was ten years old. His life, which until then had been that of a child without sweet treats, the son of a university professor, changed forever. Not only did he accompany him on his trips to the interior of the country, but he lived in the facilities of the National Intelligence Service (SIN) together with his adviser Vladimiro Montesinos, the power from the shadows. Over time, his antics were judged by public opinion, such as the iconic video in which he appears playing with his dog. And that for many has a sexual connotation. Around those years, his mother, Susana Higuchi, who died last year, denounced having been tortured by Alberto Fujimori. An incident that the family has tried to bury. That child, raised in the midst of violence and corruption, is an adult who has found refuge in social networks where he acts as a YouTuber.

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