Peruvian authorities announced on Tuesday that former President Alberto Fujimori will leave the privileged prison where he is the only prisoner to be transferred to a common prison.
Although it has not been indicated when the change will be made, it is the first time that an authority has announced such a decision in the 14 years that Fujimori has been imprisoned in Peru.
The Minister of Justice, Aníbal Torres, assured the local radio station Exitosa that Fujimori, sentenced to 25 years in prison for murder and corruption, “has to be transferred because the law establishes it, he cannot have privileges.”
Recently, the former Fujimori spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, was transferred to a stricter prison after spending 20 years in a military prison from where it was found that he called by phone every day, including to provide advice to then-presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori , daughter of the ex-president, who lost the elections to the current president Pedro Castillo.
Fujimori, 83, underwent invasive heart surgery on Monday where two small tubes were placed inside his coronary arteries. The former president had left the Barbadillo jail, located inside a police base in the eastern part of Lima, on Friday for a private clinic because the oxygen saturation in his blood had dropped, according to his lawyer.
The minister indicated that Fujimori will return to the Barbadillo prison to be reestablished “but then he has to be transferred to a common prison.” He added that Peru must stop being a not very serious country where “a high criminal who committed serious crimes while holding a high public office such as that of the presidency of the republic should be treated differently from other criminals.”
“The law says that, all those who have committed crimes must be in the same conditions,” said Torres, a former law professor at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.
Keiko Fujimori said Monday that a prison change for her father “would be an attempt on his life.” The Fujimori legislator Alejandro Aguinaga pointed out that if the transfer were carried out, “an act of cruelty and criminality” would be committed.
Peru recently formalized an extradition procedure to request that Chile Fujimori be tried for six other crimes, several of them for homicide. In 2007 Fujimori was extradited from Chile, where he was arrested after arriving from Japan. Fujimori had lived in the Asian country since 2000 when he fled amid corruption scandals by his government (1990-2000).
The prison where Fujimori is imprisoned was set up during the government of then President Alan García (2006-2011) within a police base. Fujimori can grow plants in a garden, paint, and cook. He has a nurse at his disposal and in previous years the press even reported frequent visits from his followers, retired and active politicians.
The government affirms that Fujimori is the most expensive prisoner in Peru and in 2020 he spent about 172,000 dollars a year to take care of him, a figure 57 times higher than the 2,400 dollars a year that is allocated individually to the rest of the prisoners.