Thursday, October 11, 2007

Will the rule of law prevail in Peru?

Here's an interesting piece by Alvaro Vargas-Llosa, hoping that Peru will handle Alberto Fujimori, the former Peruvian president who resigned and fled amid charges of heavy-duty corruption and brutal abuse of power in 2000, intelligently and fairly. He was recently extradited to Lima to stand trial for a couple a massacres by a military death squad. Fujimori was certainly a terrible president, far more brutal than most people expected. But there are two extremes to be avoided that some Peruvians apparently indulge in: rationalizing Fujimoris' misdeeds by remembering the difficulties creating by the Marxist Shining Path movement, or useing the trial for revenge instead of justice.

Alvaro, of course, is the son of the great Peruvian novelist, political thinker and onetime presidential candidate Mario Vargas-Llosa. Peru might have been better off if he had been elected -- or maybe actually holding political office would have left him even more cynical. I met Alvaro some years ago at an undisclosed location (it was apparently prudent then that certain people didn't know where he was), and was favorably impressed with his intelligence and understanding of the importance of liberty. He's openly living in D.C. now and I'm glad to see him contributing to the political discourse.

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