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Peru’s former President Alberto Fujimori has been pardoned by current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on health grounds in a move that has prompted angry protests.

Alberto Fujimori, 79, who is serving 25 years for human rights abuses and corruption, was moved from prison to hospital because of health problems on December 23.

President Kuczynski denied pardoning the former leader as part of a deal with his party last week to avoid his own impeachment.

Police in the capital Lima clashed with protesters after the news emerged.

Two members of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s party in the Peruvian Congress, Vicente Zeballos and Alberto de Belaunde, resigned in protest at the pardon.

Meanwhile, supporters of the former president, who led Peru from 1990 to 2000, celebrated outside the city hospital where he was being treated.

Image source Wikimedia

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Alberto Fujimori is admired by some Peruvians for combating Maoist rebels but his critics considered him a corrupt dictator.

His son, Kenji Fujimori, tweeted video of himself breaking the news of the pardon to his father in his hospital bed and wishing him a Merry Christmas.

A statement from President Kuczynski’s office said he had decided to grant a “humanitarian pardon to Mr. Alberto Fujimori and seven other people in similar condition”, without naming the others.

According to the statement, doctors had “determined that Mr. Fujimori suffers from a progressive, degenerative and incurable illness and that prison conditions represent a grave risk to his life”.

Alberto Fujimori was transferred from his cell to a clinic suffering from low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat, doctors said.

Kenji Fujimori said earlier that his father would probably not go home for several days.

The conservative Popular Force (FP) party, led by Albert Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko Fujimori, controls Congress and on December 21 tried to impeach President Kuczynski over a corruption scandal.

However, her brother Kenji split the FP vote, allowing President Kuczynski to stay in power and prompting the accusation that Alberto Fujimori’s release had been promised in exchange.

Leftist politician Veronika Mendoza labeled the president’s decision as treason: “To save his own skin he [President Kuczynski] cut a deal with Fujimori’s supporters.”

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski denied the claim.

In 2007, Alberto Fujimori was sentenced to six years in jail for bribery and abuse of power, but two years later was sentenced to another 25 years in prison for human rights abuses committed during his time in office.

The former president was convicted of authorizing killings carried out by death squads.

On December 24, police reportedly fired tear gas at dozens of protesters who turned out to protest at news of the pardon, waving pictures of victims of the counter-insurgency campaign.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, executive director of Human Rights Watch in the Americas, tweeted: “I regret Fujimori’s humanitarian pardon.

“Instead of reaffirming that in a state of law there is no special treatment for anyone, the idea that his liberation was a vulgar political negotiation in exchange for Pedro Pablo Kuczynski maintaining power will remain forever.”

President Barack Obama has said he may speak out, against tradition, after leaving office if he feels Donald Trump is threatening core American values.

By convention, former presidents tend to leave the political fray and avoid commenting on their successors.

President Obama said he would give Donald Trump time to outline his vision but added that, as a private citizen, he might speak out on certain issues.

President-elect Donald Trump spent the weekend interviewing candidates for top jobs in his cabinet.

Speaking at a forum in Lima, Peru, President Obama said: “I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off.”

However, President Obama added, if an issue “goes to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes”.

Barack Obama described himself as an “American citizen who cares deeply about our country”.Donald Trump criticized by Barack Obama

Speaking at a news conference to mark the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, President Obama reiterated that he would extend to Donald Trump’s incoming administration the same professional courtesy shown to his team by his predecessor George W. Bush.

George W. Bush has refrained since leaving office from commenting on Barack Obama’s presidency.

“I don’t think it does any good,” President Bush told CNN in 2013, after Barack Obama was elected for a second time.

“It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine.”

George W. Bush’s stance falls in line with tradition. US presidents tend to avoid criticizing predecessors or successors. Barack Obama was clear that he would not weigh in on Donald Trump’s decisions while he was still in office.

However, his suggestion that, as a private citizen, he would seek to defend “core values” comes amid mounting concern among civil rights groups and others about Donald Trump’s political appointments.

Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was previously the head of Breitbart, a website accused of promoting racism and anti-Semitism.

His national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, has previously likened Islam to a “cancer” spreading through the US.

Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, lost the chance to become a federal judge in 1986 because of allegedly racist remarks.

President Obama said he believed the intense responsibility of the presidency would force Donald Trump to moderate some of the more extreme policy positions he had advocated during his campaign.

On November 20, Donald Trump indicated he had made more selections after a weekend of interviews at his golf resort in New Jersey, saying: “We really had some great meetings, and you’ll be hearing about them soon.”

He has confirmed he is considering retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis for the role of defense secretary, calling him “very impressive” in a tweet. He also met former critic Mitt Romney, who is now being considered for secretary of state.

The incoming president also says that his wife, Melania, and their 10-year-old son Barron will not move into the White House straight away. They would move “very soon, right after he finishes school”, he said. The school year runs from late August or early September until late May or June.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, said his first priority after leaving office was to take Michelle on vacation and “get some rest, spend time with my girls and do some writing, do some thinking”.

Asked about the failure of the Democratic Party’s campaign under Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama criticized the “micro-targeting” of “particular, discrete groups”, arguing there should have been an effort to reach out to the entire country.

Hillary Clinton has been criticized for focusing her energy on certain demographics, including Latinos and women, who were believed to support her, at the expense of a more inclusive campaign.

That approach “is not going to win you the broad mandate that you need”, Barack Obama said, adding that the party needed a “smarter message”.


Argentina has announced it will return more than 4,000 archaeological artifacts to Peru and Ecuador.

The artifacts had been stolen and should be returned to their rightful owners, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said.

“We are doing something unusual, really special,” she said during a ceremony at the National Museum of Fine Art in Buenos Aires.

Cristina Fernandez urged other countries to follow the example.

“It is an honor and a pleasure to restore the cultural wealth of countries such as Ecuador and Peru in a world where such wealth has so often been taken away,” said the president.Inca stolen artifacts South America

“One can see in the great museums of the world pieces from Greece, Syria, Egypt, Asia and even Latin America, and which have not been returned.”

The announcement was made during a ceremony in Buenos Aires, in the presence of the Ecuadorean and Peruvian ambassadors.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said Argentina was the first South American nation to make such gesture.

However, she did not specify when the artifacts would be returned.

In 2014, the University of Yale in the United States returned dozens of Inca artifacts.

The university had reached a deal in 2011 to return thousands of items after a long dispute.

The artifacts had been taken from the Incan 15th Century citadel of Machu Picchu by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1912.

A multiple pile-up in Peru has killed at least 36 people on the Pan American Highway near Huarmey, about 200 miles north of the capital, Lima.

Around 70 people are also reported to be injured after a bus drifted into the opposite lane.Peru bus crash Huarmey

The bus, operated by the Murga Serrano line, was hit by three vehicles coming in the opposite direction – two buses and a truck.

The vehicle was carrying a delegation from the Christian organization the Worldwide Missionary Movement, it is reported.

“Initial investigations indicate that the driver who drifted into the opposite lane may have fallen asleep and collided with another bus,” Oscar Gonzalez, who was in charge of the rescue operation, told Reuters.

The government deployed several ambulances to the scene.

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The mayoral race in a small town high in the Peruvian Andes was decided by a coin toss after two candidates tied at the ballot box.

Wilber Medina, a 40-year-old teacher, was chosen mayor of Pillpinto near the tourist center of Cusco on October 22 after he and his rival, Jose Comejo, each garnered 236 votes in municipal elections this month.

Pillpinto mayoral race was decided by a coin toss after two candidates tied at the ballot box

Pillpinto mayoral race was decided by a coin toss after two candidates tied at the ballot box

Peru’s electoral law allows for tied races to be decided by a coin toss.

Wilber Medina said he’ll work to earn voters’ trust. Jose Cornejo accepted the results.

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Peru’s government has decided to extend to nine more regions a state of emergency called to cope with unusually cold weather and heavy snowfall.

Until now, at least two people have died and 33,000 others have been affected by the cold spell, local officials say.

Tens of thousands of animals have frozen to death over the past week.

Tens of thousands of animals have frozen to death in Peru over the past week

Tens of thousands of animals have frozen to death in Peru over the past week

President Ollanta Humala has travelled to Apurimac, one of the worst-hit areas, to oversee the distribution of emergency aid.

The state of emergency would be in place for 20 days, an official statement said.

The heaviest snow fall to hit Peru in a decade has killed tens of thousands of llamas, alpacas, cattle and sheep, and left farmers destitute.

A man died when the roof of his hut caved in under the weight of the snow in southern Carabaya province but the circumstances of the second death were unclear.

Three people were rescued on Saturday from the same region after their home was cut off by snow.

Rescue workers said the three, two girls and an elderly woman, were suffering from frostbite and snow blindness.

The cold front has also hit Peru’s south-eastern neighbor, Bolivia, and Paraguay, where a combined total of five people have died.

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A court in Peru has sentenced Florindo Flores, the last of the original leaders of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) rebels to life in prison.

Judges in the Peruvian capital, Lima, found Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala, who’s known as Comrade Artemio, guilty of terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering.

Florindo Flores was also ordered to pay a fine of $183 million.

The Shining Path rebels were severely weakened in the 1990s after failing to install a Communist state, but some remain active in southern Peru.

After hours of sentencing, Judge Clotilde Cavero said: “It was proven that he (Artemio) ordered the execution of a number of civilians, police and soldiers.

“It was proven that he belonged to the Central Committee of the Shining Path.

“It was proven that he was the top leader in the (Alto) Huallaga (Valley),” she said.

During the trial which lasted six months, Comrade Artemio, 51, had denied the terrorism charges but referred to himself as a “revolutionary”.

A court in Peru has sentenced Florindo Flores, the last of the original leaders of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) rebels to life in prison

A court in Peru has sentenced Florindo Flores, the last of the original leaders of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) rebels to life in prison

He was captured and wounded last year after a clash with troops in Alto Huallaga, a former rebel stronghold and cocaine-producing region.

Florindo Flores admitted in December 2011 that the Shining Path had been defeated, and told reporters in his jungle hideout that the remaining rebels were ready to have talks with the government.

But President Ollanta Humala has been adamant that his government will not “negotiate with terrorists”.

“They are cold-blooded killers, who kidnap children, don’t respect basic rights, and try to use terror and extortion to change the democratic nature of the country,” Ollanta Humala said last September.

Inspired by Maoism, the Shining Path tried to lead a “People’s War” to overthrow what they called “bourgeois democracy”.

Almost 70,000 people died or disappeared in more than a decade of internal conflict.

But the rebels were severely weakened after the capture of their founder Abimael Guzman in 1992.

They now remain active in the Ene-Apurimac Valley, a remote jungle region near Cuzco in southern Peru that is dominated by the cocaine trade.

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Jacinto Nicolas Fuentes German, who is suspected of being a leader of Colombia’s Urabenos criminal gang, has been arrested in Peru.

Peruvian police detained Jacinto Nicolas Fuentes German in Lima, after a joint intelligence operation with Colombia, Peru’s police chief, General Raul Salazar said.

Jacinto  Fuentes Fuentes German, known as Don Leo, entered Peru illegally last month, they added.

The Urabenos gang controls much of the drug trade in northern Colombia, with many ex-paramilitaries in its ranks.

According to the Colombian authorities, Jacinto Nicolas Fuentes German took over running part of the Urabenos after one of the most wanted drug dealers, Henry de Jesus Lopez, was arrested in December in Argentina.

Jacinto Nicolas Fuentes German had been in prison in 2008 after being arrested with a group of armed men, but was subsequently released, Colombian media reported.

Jacinto Nicolas Fuentes German, who is suspected of being a leader of Colombia's Urabenos criminal gang, has been arrested in Peru

Jacinto Nicolas Fuentes German, who is suspected of being a leader of Colombia’s Urabenos criminal gang, has been arrested in Peru


More than 16,000 dried seahorses which were to be exported illegally to Asian countries have been seized by police in Peru.

Seahorse powder is used in China, Japan and elsewhere in traditional medicine and for its alleged aphrodisiac uses.

Peruvian authorities say the traffickers ran away and abandoned their illicit cargo on a street in the capital, Lima.

More than 16,000 dried seahorses which were to be exported illegally to Asian countries have been seized by police in Peru

More than 16,000 dried seahorses which were to be exported illegally to Asian countries have been seized by police in Peru

Police chief Victor Fernandez said the cargo could have fetched up to $250,000 abroad.

Seahorse fishing is illegal in Peru, but the high prices paid for seahorse powder abroad make it difficult for the authorities to enforce the ban.

Victor Fernandez said the cargo – three cases weighing 27.5 kg (60 pounds) – was left behind following a police operation near the Lima’s airport.

“They are sent to Asian countries and used as aphrodisiacs. In China this product is also used to cure asthma,” he said.

The marine fish, which finds northern Peru’s warmer waters a perfect breeding ground, is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

But Victor Fernandez said that last year a total of 20 tons of dried seahorses were seized across the world – half a ton in Peru alone.