Peru’s Fujimori Wins First Round of Election Touting Anti-Crime Stance

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Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, won the first round of Peru’s presidential election while positioning herself as the tough on crime candidate.

Early results indicate Fujimori won the first round of Peru’s presidential election on April 10, with 39 percent of the vote, reported the Associated Press.

Placing second was former World Bank economist Pedro Kuczynski with 24 percent, followed by Congresswoman Veronika Mendoza at 17 percent.

Final results are expected later today. If the results hold, Fujimori will face Kuczynski in a run-off election on June 5.

Fujimori has been the frontrunner for months. However, polls indicate Kuczynski has a decent chance of winning a run-off due to unpopularity over crimes committed by Fujimori’s father during his time as president, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Keiko’s father, Alberto Fujimori, is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity, including the authorization of death squads during his rule from 1990 to 2000. A polarizing figure, many Peruvians nonetheless credit Fujimori for weakening Peru’s leftist Shining Path insurgent group.

A pillar of Keiko’s campaign platform has been a promise to tackle crime and restore her father’s law-and-order legacy. This appears to have paid dividends during the election. 

“I voted for her because she’s the only one who’s going to be able to defeat crime and terrorism,” one voter told Bloomberg.

On April 9, the day before elections, 10 people were killed after Shining Path rebels attacked a military convoy traveling to a village in Peru’s Junín region to provide security during voting, reported El Comercio.

Peru’s elections have been the subject of much controversy after two presidential candidates, including a top contender, were barred from the race by Peru’s electoral tribunal for campaign violations.

InSight Crime Analysis

During presidential campaigning, Fujimori criticized current Peruvian President Ollanta Humala for being weak on crime and not doing enough to strengthen citizen security.

Fujimori’s own security proposals have included stationing the army outside prisons to stand guard and sending the navy to protect Callao, Peru’s main seaport and a major drug trafficking hub. These proposals would allow 10,000 national police agents currently performing such tasks to focus on fighting street crime.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

Fujimori has also proposed modifying Peru’s penal code to give national police greater autonomy and legal power to combat crime, as well as constructing 20 new “factory-prisons.”

While Fujimori’s anti-crime platform and her family’s law-and-order legacy appeal to many Peruvians, particularly those in rural regions affected by the Shining Path, others fear a return to the worst excesses of authoritarianism seen under her father. Such concerns may ultimately derail Keiko’s presidential bid.

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