Photographer's Note

This is a wall next to the Lima Ringroad. The Mural exhorts people to vote for Fujimori in the pesidential elections of 2006. His is a very twisted story:
In the late 1980s during the incompetent government of president Alan Garcia and the actions of the world's bloodiest terrorist group (Shinning Path 60,000 victims, Peru was on the border of collapse. Inflation was around 7000%, bombs went off killing inocent people and cutting electrical supply. It is in this context that my family decided to emigrate to Canada.
In the 1990 elections, the people elected an unknown: Alberto Fujimori: Dean of the agricultural university and son of Japanese immigrants. Once in power, he implemented long overdue changes to Peru. He cut the defficit, he changed laws to make it easy for millions of enterpreneurs from the popular classes to enter the legal economy, he built roads, and schools.
He did not have the support of the traditional political class who had a majority in congress. They blocked many of his projects until the president decided in April of 1992 to close the congress and declare a state of emergency. Foreign observers criticized this "strike" against democracy while over 85% of peruvians agreed with these actions.
This allowed him to implement reforms and laws faster and more efficiently. Peru had the highest rate of economic growth in the world Inflation was taken down to 2 digit figures, terrorism eliminated. The country regained an air of normality. In 1995 he was re-elected, and it was in his second term that things turned sour.
It seems that in order for him to govern he needed the support of the army, and he got this support by dealing with the army through his right hand man, Vladimiro Montesinos, a shadowy character who is called the Peruvian Rasputin. Montesinos created a web of corruption that extended through every sphere of the country's life. In the 2000 elecions, Fujimori won amidst charges of fraud. A few months later, while on an official trip through Asia, and following the discovery of videotapes of Montesinos buying off congresspeople, he resigned and stayed in Japan where he lives in exile ever since.
At this point most of peruvians had had enough of Fujimori, and the new Toledo adminsitration made prosecuting Fujimori his main aim. Montesinos was found and jailed. In the meantime, the current government has become a political circus, with the current congress only agreeing on such issues as raises and bonuses for themselves. While the econmy is going well due to the boom in exports, theres seems to be a disconection between the political class and the general population.
Is it then surprising that peruvians have rekindled their love affair with Fujimori? wherever you go in the country people will tell you: At least with "el chino" things progressed.
Fujimori is planning to run for president in 2006, inspite of a congressional ban on his running for office for 10 years.

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Additional Photos by daniel barreto (rbcy1974) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2354 W: 147 N: 3406] (20758)
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