Peru’s ex-President faces forced sterilization charges

April 27 (UPI) — Peru’s former president is facing charges over alleged forced sterilization of women during his time in office.

Alberto Fujimori, the ex-president of Peru, and three of his former health ministers, Marino Costa Bauer, Eduardo Yong and Alejandro Aguinaga, will be issued new charges over the forced sterilization of five women that reportedly took place while he was in office.

Between 1990 and 2000, when Fujimori was in office, around 300,000 women had the surgery as part of a government program. Although it was meant to be a voluntary procedure, thousands say they did not give their consent.

Over 2,000 people have filed lawsuits against the sterilizations and data showing that 18 women died as a result of the procedures.

The procedures were mainly done on poor, indigenous women — many of whom claim they were harassed, threatened and blackmailed into complying.

“I feel very happy because this presents an opportunity to bring justice forward for the damage they caused us,” Nilda Guerrero Carrasco, one of the thousands of women who underwent the procedure, said.

“They forced me to be sterilized in a hospital in Huancabamba, by law of Fujimori. I didn’t want to have the operation. Now there is hope that the guilty will be imprisoned.”

The 79-year-old former president, who was previously serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuses and corruption, was pardoned in December by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.