Source: Rebelion / The Dawn News / March 22, 2018
One could very well say that the fall of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (better known as PPK) was sealed on December 2017, when Peru learned about the unconstitutional pardon he gave to Alberto Fujimori, the mass murderer that kept Peru captive for the entire decade of the 1990s.
There were two reasons for this unscrupulous action. On one hand, it was a product of the ideological affinity between the current President and the former President, both of them encouraged by the IMF and the World Bank to apply the neoliberal “adjustment” plan. On the other hand, it was the result of a political calculation that was completely mistaken in light of recent events: PPK thought that by pardoning the genocidal president-in-exile, he would be win over the the powerful Fujimori family, whose members have had a great deal of political power since the beginning of the twenty-first century.
PPK’s alignment with neoliberalism is a long story. Although he was born in the southern part of the American continent, he was more loyal to the United States than to his own country. He was always in line with the White House with every step he took. As an official of the Central Reserve Bank in the 60s, he dutifully served the Empire by benefiting their International Petroleum Company. In later years, he performed different kinds of tasks at the service of big capital. Luck put him on the path to the presidency of Peru, and so he worked on that goal for the last 17 months, without abandoning for a second his relationship of dependence with Wall Street and US officials. Therefore, he is still connected by an umbilical cord to the Empire that considers South America their “backyard”.
This was what led him to pardon Fujimori almost 90 days ago. Life had put him and Keiko Fujimori (daughter of Alberto) on opposite sides of the electoral contest and PPK had publicly distanced himself from her because he needed to win the election, but his political and strategic vision remained unchanged.
Many of those who voted for Kuczynski in the last elections did so in rejection of Keiko and the mafia she represents. After winning in June last year, PPK reached a peak approval rate of 65%. He used that period of bonanza to pass laws that benefited the Fujimoris, which in the end meant putting nails in his own coffin.
When he signed the Pardon for Alberto Fujimori last December, he thought he was buying stability for himself—earning the gratefulness of the former dictator’s children to govern without pressure and arrive safely with his administration on the eve of the country’s Bicentennial, which would crown his effort. That was a fatal mistake. The Fuijmoris never forgave him for running against Keiko and defeating her. Since day one, and until his demise, they made his life difficult.
Clearly, PPK made it easy for them to bring him down. His constant mistakes, his love for profit, his eagerness to accumulate wealth, and to his servile attitude towards the North American masters, discredited him in the eyes of Peruvians. This added to his obsession with Venezuela and his war-mongering against the Bolivarian process. Both policies made it so that in the latest poll his approval rate dropped to 14%.
His fall was foreseeable, and it became inevitable with the videos revealed on March 20, which indisputably proved that there was corruption in the highest spheres of government: it showed how a congressman was bought with privileges and projects—an old practice of bourgeois democracy that is generally tolerated except when the judicial system decides it’s time to replace someone.
Nobody should feel sorry for PPK. Nor happy about his fall. It is part of the picaresque novel. It is another event in the drama the tarnished country, that won’t end if it is not capable of freeing itself from the chains that tie it down.
The fight is not over, then. It must continue until the people of Peru end the mafia that seeks to control the country. Nobody knows how long it will take but it seems as though there is still another round to fight.
When Vice President Martín Vizcarra is inaugurated as President of the Republic on March 23, it won’t be a coup d’état but a change in the structure of power. Hopefully, this leader of humble origins will honor his ancestors and avoid incurring in corrupt practices. He is faced with a challenge: to make the Summit of the Americas a success—which can fail if they insist (like the CIA wants) on excluding leaders that Washington doesn’t like. On this issue, too, we Peruvians have a say.