December 26, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Fujimori regrets (?) past abuses

Peru seems to be going through the same sort of belated, half-hearted expression of contrition for wrongdoing by the Chief Executive that took place in the United States during the late 1990s. The difference is that it involves a former president, and the charges center around human rights issues rather than sexual misconduct and coverups. Having been sentenced to six years in prison as the first stage of a lengthy trial process, Alberto Fujimori said that he "regrets" the human rights abuses that took place during his government (1990-2000), but denied responsibility for them and did not apologize directly. See BBC. Is he being sincere? Quite possibly, but it too late for such a gesture now. It looks like he is angling for more lenient treatment in the next phase of his trial.

As I've said before, I'm inclined to put Fujimori in the same category as Richard Nixon -- someone with solid accomplishments and positive leadership qualities, as well as deep character flaws that he refuses to confront. Hence the tendency to blame enemies when things go bad. Nevertheless, the final chapter on his amazing political career has yet to be written, and he may yet find some way to serve his country in the future.