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Peru: Anti-Fujimorism Keeps Castillo as President

Perú: el antifujimorismo aún sostiene a Castillo en la Presidencia, EFE

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Peruvian congressman Edward Malaga -formerly resistant to presidential vacancy, today in favor of it- made some remarks at the beginning of October that bothered certain sectors directly or indirectly complicit with Pedro Castillo’s current regime. “It seems to me that anti-Fujimorism has become (…) a stumbling block to resolve the crisis with the departure of the president. They fear that Fujimorism will take the reins or that it will win the next elections. And for fear of that boogeyman they prefer to do nothing (…)”, said the parliamentarian.

Of course, this does not mean to support Fujimorism as the alternative to the current political and moral crisis. In fact, many are warning that it is prudent that the fujimoristas take a back seat due to the strong rejection they still generate among citizens. It is up to the real antagonists to the Castillo-Cerrón regime to evaluate whether Fujimorism has become the Achilles heel of the current and future pro-democratic struggles. Estimates suggest that its presence can be defeated in elections by any extremist force of the left, including the racist, homophobic and xenophobic Antauro Humala, who is now being presented as the next “lesser evil”. Crazy. This kind of evaluations are becoming unavoidable.

Is Castillo not falling because of anti-Fujimorism?

If Peru had Keiko Fujimori as President today and not the Castillo-Cerrón duo, with all that is now being seen in matters of corruption, ineptitude and infiltration of extremists in the public sector, she would have already been expelled from the Presidency. A long time ago. Perhaps she would not have even lasted a month after taking office on July 28, 2021.

A strong protest gathering in the streets and a courageous Congress would have already acted to rightly defenestrate the rottenness we see today.

Why isn’t the same thing happening with the corrupt prosenderism of Castillo-Cerrón? It is not a mistake to point out that it is perhaps the “anti-fujimorism” factor that continues to provide a Teflon effect that allows the presidential left to remain in power and enjoy impunity.

Some have said that “at this rate, the president is going to start receiving bribes on live television and nothing will happen anyway”.

In reality, there are multiple factors that prevent the end of this misgovernment. One of them is the dirty tricks, the purchase of a number of congressmen that play in favor of the government, neutralizing any legitimate and constitutional presidential vacancy. It requires 87 votes out of 130 in Parliament to remove Pedro Castillo.

But it is perhaps the resistance generated by any possible rebound political benefit in favor of Fujimorism if Castillo falls, which may be holding back the outcome.

This suspicious eagerness can be seen in the press -especially in the one that supported former president Martin Vizcarra and his heir Francisco Sagasti─ although it is diminishing in the face of the obvious and blatant evidence. This is influencing sectors of public opinion, blocking the formation of a wave of general indignation that would finally reverse the toxic dynamics of the conflict and current national power situation.

Anti-Fujimorism -almost a professional endeavor for some “influencers”- has managed to successfully set up its campaign for years with such success that even the disappeared terrorist and Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman or MRTA leader Victor Polay Campos, had they been released, could have become president as other “lesser evils” in competition with any heir of Fujimorism. That is the communication “success” ─which also ensured them shares of power in several governments─ of these forces that ended up favoring Castillo-Cerrón’s triumph on the basis of promoting, as the presumptuous political science would say, (capricious) “negative political identities.” Today they are regretting, recanting, although the most thermocephalic persist in their position.

Oddly enough, a certain sector of traditional anti-Fujimorism, such as the Vargas Llosa family, managed to be somehow consistent by helping to warn about and diagnose in 2011 the serious risks that the (greater evil) corrupting neo-liberalism would provoke, as we are witnessing now.

It is worth remembering that in 2000 it was not strictly speaking the people’ marches that brought down the original Fujimorism in power since 1990, it was an explosive “vladivideo” (where Alberto Fujimori’s former advisor, Vladimiro Montesinos, appeared buying off an opposition congressman). Perhaps some of that is missing today. However, the evidence of corruption is so overwhelming that the current government of Pedro Castillo is completely unviable from every point of view.  

Even so, it is worth asking whether in the event that a video were to emerge as additional evidence, the anti-Fujimorism would continue to dismiss the obvious by stubbornly holding on to the rope that still holds Castillo and his internal and external associates.

Political analyst and columnist focused on issues of risk and political conflict, radicalization and violent political extremism // Analista político y columnista enfocado en temas de riesgo y conflictos políticos, radicalización y extremismo político violento

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