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El Inocente?

Ex-President of Peru Alberto Fujimori went on trial for human rights crimes,

skyligh Pictures image

appropriately enough, on Human Rights Day, December 10. He started out with a dramatic opening speech, waving his arms about and yelling “Soy inocente!” (I’m innocent!).

He claims to have safeguarded the human rights of 25 million Peruvians, “without exception”.

As the trial unfolds it brings to the fore one of the great debates of our times, how do democratic societies deal with the threat of terrorism and maintain the rule of law? Fujimori supporters believe the rule of law was expendable in light of the terrorist threat that Peru faced, and the Peruvian Truth & Reconciliation Commission, as we showed in State of Fear, concluded the opposite. It is a historic trial, and has already generated a cellphone ringtone that spread like wildfire throughout Peru, that starts with Fujimori shouting “Soy inocente!” followed by the judge saying “Aquí mando yo” (I’m in charge here) and for good measure ends with King Juan Carlos saying “Por que no te callas” from the time he told Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to shut up – all of this over Fujimori’s campaign song from 2000, El Baile del Chino. Here it is:

Paco de Onís
paco@skylight.is

Paco is the Executive Director at Skylight.