With five days remaining until the ballot that will define Peru’s next ruler, thousands of Peruvians demonstrated in various cities on Tuesday against the right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori.
On the streets of Lima, the protesters shouted “Fujimori never again”, others carried black and white portraits of several disappeared during the government of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), Keiko’s father and in whose government the presidential candidate was first lady .
Most of those printed faces were young. One of Melissa Alfaro, a 23-year-old journalist who died in 1991 after an overbomb exploded in the editorial office of the magazine Cambio, an opponent of the Fujimori government. Another was that of 22-year-old university student Ernesto Castillo, kidnapped and disappeared by police in October 1990. The crimes remain unpunished.
A pair of giant rats that had the Fujimori party symbol on their bellies were also used during the march. In Peru rats symbolize corruption. Keiko’s father is serving a 25-year prison sentence for his responsibility in the murder of 25 Peruvians at the hands of a death group funded by his government and also has three sentences for corruption.
“She is the daughter of a corrupt man who supports everything bad that her father did,” said Mirian Ortiz, a housewife who wore a mask with the phrase “Keiko does not go.”
The presidential candidate also has legal problems. The prosecution accused her of laundering and is asking for 30 years in prison for receiving money from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and from Peruvian millionaires for their different presidential campaigns.
Some protesters carried white signs with the phrase in black letters “Keiko does not go.” Opposition to Keiko Fujimori has always been high in Peru. 45% would definitely not vote for her, according to a poll published on Sunday by the firm Ipsos Peru. At the end of April his rejection reached 50%.
Earlier, the right-wing candidate visited two poor neighborhoods on the edge of Lima.
Leftist candidate Pedro Castillo and Fujimori are tied in the latest polls. Castillo was in the lead, but Fujimori has recovered in recent weeks.
On Sunday, June 6, the second round takes place. Whoever gets the most votes will win the election and will govern from July 28.