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Fujimori pardon: Another blow to tackling impunity in Latin America?

9 8 31

Is frail health a get-out-of-jail card for Latin America's imprisoned dictators and autocrats?

Rights groups fear that the pardon granted to Peru's former president Alberto Fujimori is just the latest blow to combating impunity for ex-leaders guilty of crimes.

They point to a series of scenes -- Fujimori in a hospital bed, late former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in a wheelchair, former Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt immune from sentencing because of alleged dementia -- to underline their argument.

In Fujimori's case, a presidential pardon that freed him of a 25-year sentence for brutal human rights abuses triggered protests by thousands of angry Peruvians.

It also drew sharp criticism from the representative in Latin America of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amerigo Incalcaterra, who called for any situation "that could lead to impunity" to be avoided.

Fujimori, said to be ailing from high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat at age 79, admitted to having "let down" Peru's citizens and asked them "to forgive me with all my........

© Japan Today