April 8, 2009 / 5:23 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX: The legacy of Peru's Alberto Fujimori

(Reuters) - Former President Alberto Fujimori, 70, was convicted by Peru’s Supreme Court on Tuesday of violating human rights during his 1990-2000 rule of Peru.

Here are some facts about his trial and political legacy:

A LONG-SHOT CANDIDATE

* In 1990, Fujimori, a little-known chancellor of an agricultural university, drove a tractor to his presidential campaign rallies. He promised to confront a severe economic crisis and the Maoist insurgency known as the Shining Path.

* A Japanese-Peruvian, he touted himself as an alternative to the white Peruvian elite, and gained overwhelming support from the country’s large indigenous and mixed race populations. He won his first term by defeating renowned writer Mario Vargas Llosa.

POWER GRAB, SHINING PATH DEFEAT

* In April 1992, Fujimori shut down the opposition-dominated Congress and suspended the constitution to enact free-market economic reforms and anti-terrorism measures. Most Peruvians applauded the move despite international concerns.

* Five months later, Fujimori won widespread praise when government forces captured Abimael Guzman, the supreme leader of the violent Shining Path, and drastically reduced attacks by the group.

HUMAN RIGHTS CHARGES

* In November 1991, government security agents shot dead 15 people, among them an 8-year-old boy, at a barbecue. It became known as the Barrios Altos massacre. Fujimori was convicted of a charge related to the Barrios Altos massacre.

* In July 1992, nine students and a professor disappeared from the La Cantuta university on the outskirts of Lima and are executed. Peru’s truth commission, which investigated atrocities of the civil war that claimed 70,000 lives, later said the 10 were murdered by government agents. Fujimori was found guilty of directing the massacre.

* In 1997, a bold Fujimori sent over 100 commandos into the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Lima to end a four-month crisis sparked when the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement took more than 500 people hostage. The raid kills 14 insurgents. Two commandos and one of the remaining 72 hostages die. Television footage showed Fujimori calmly stepping over the corpses of the insurgents after the raid.

RESIGNATION, EXTRADITION, TRIALS

* In 2000, Fujimori resigned as president, initially by fax from Japan, as a corruption scandal enveloped his government. Years later, he flies to Chile, apparently hoping to stage a political comeback.

* Fujimori’s trial, which began in December 2007 after he was extradited from Chile, was a rare case of a former head of state facing charges in his own country on human rights crimes. It could set a precedent for similar trials in Peru and around the world.

*In a case tangential to the human rights trial, Fujimori was convicted in December 2007 of ordering aides to steal documents from the wife of his former spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.

* He will face two more trials: one for allegedly wiretapping political opponents and paying bribes to congressmen and broadcasters, and the other for purportedly paying $15 million in apparent hush money to Montesinos.

Compiled by Dana Ford and Terry Wade, Editing by Stacey Joyce

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