Fujimori health better, but family feud makes him sick: doctor

Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori, 79, was hospitalized with a stomach infection and dehydration on Wednesday in the Centenario Japanese-Peruvian clinic
AFP

Lima (AFP) – Peru’s former president Alberto Fujimori feels better after being hospitalized earlier this week, but a feud between his politically ambitious children is not helping the recovery, his doctor said Thursday.

“There is an improvement,” said the disgraced Fujimori’s personal doctor, Alejandro Aguinaga, who expects the ex-president to remain another day in hospital.

Fujimori, 79, was hospitalized with a stomach infection and dehydration on Wednesday in the Centenario Japanese-Peruvian clinic.

However the former president — who was forced to step down in 2000 after a decade in power marked by corruption and a bloody human rights record — is not feeling so good about the power struggle between his daughter Keiko and son Kenji.

Their battle for the Fujimori family political mantle has seen them exchange hair-raising accusations of corruption.

The row even ended up helping to bring down president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who finally resigned last week after being accused of taking bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

The elder Fujimori — who was serving a 25-year sentence for his role in government death squads until Kuczynski pardoned him in December — is not enjoying the high-stakes soap opera.

“It’s clear that a situation of this nature bothers him a lot,” Aguinaga said. “We’ve always said that Alberto Fujimori is not made of iron. He has affections, feelings.”

– Dueling corruption accusations –

Keiko Fujimori, 42, has run twice for president, losing by a hair in 2016 to Kuczynski, and heads the main opposition Popular Force party.

But Kenji, 37, has risen to the point where he threatens to overshadow his big sister. A congressman, he is seen as aiming for the presidency in 2021.

Kenji split from the Popular Force and his sister in March in protest at allegations that her 2011 presidential campaign had been funded in part by Odebrecht, a vast company that until recently made a habit of bribing politicians everywhere it does business.

However, Keiko’s Popular Force embarrassed Kenji — and helped destroy Kuczynski’s presidency — by releasing video that purportedly shows Kenji trying to buy a lawmaker’s vote to prevent Kuczynski from being impeached back in December.

Those videos seemed to prove what everyone already suspected — that Kenji engineered Kuczynski’s survival during that impeachment vote, in return for a controversial presidential pardon for his father.

Prosecutors are looking into both siblings’ cases and Kenji has said he will testify on April 6 about “who is corrupt” regarding the alleged Odebrecht funds for his sister Keiko’s campaign.

Kuczynski resigned March 21 on the eve of when he would have faced a second impeachment vote. He was replaced by his vice president, Martin Vizcarra.

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