Former Peruvian Presidents Castillo, Fujimori both request lifetime pensions of $4,000 per month

By May 9, 2024

Lima, Peru — Despite the irony, former Presidents Pedro Castillo (2021-2022) — currently imprisoned — and Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) — recently pardoned — have requested Peru’s Congress allocate them a lifetime pension of 15,600 soles (USD $4,182) per month.

Peru’s Law 26519 establishes that former presidents will receive a lifetime pension, which is equivalent to the total salary of a sitting congressman. However, this right is suspended if the former president receives a constitutional complaint, unless a judicial sentence declares them innocent. Additionally, in case of death, the pension must be granted to the spouse and underage children of the former president.

Only Congress, through voting, has the authority to decide whether to grant this benefit.

Alberto Fujimori’s Case 

On July 6, the Peruvian press reported that Fujimori — who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for human rights violations and was released from prison last year after the Constitutional Court (TC) granted him a humanitarian pardon — began procedures to receive a the lifetime pension, bodyguard, a car, and fuel expenses. 

On April 24, Fujimori, through his lawyer Elio Riera, officially requested this benefit from Parliament. His lawyer made it clear that if Congress does not accept the request, they could seek other legal options.

Last December, the Specialized Public Prosecutor’s Office for Corruption Crimes reported that Fujimori still owes around 57 million soles (USD $15,300,000) in civil reparations for three cases in which he was convicted by the Judiciary.

According to Attorney General Javier Pacheco, the decision lies with Congress. However, he emphasized that if the former president is allowed to receive his pension, it would be subject to seizure to settle the debt he owes to the state.

“Fujimori was not declared innocent, but was convicted of corruption and crimes against humanity (…) The decision lies with Congress and they are the ones who must comply with the law, however, if this is the case (that the parliamentarians agree to grant him the benefits), the Specialized Public Prosecutor’s Office for Corruption Crimes will proceed to take the precautionary measures necessary to collect the civil reparations in favor of the Peruvian state,” he stated.

Pedro Castillo’s Case 

In addition to Fujimori, the Peruvian press also reported that former President Castillo, who was impeached by Congress and is currently facing 18 months of pretrial detention, also requested the pension, although his request was rejected.

The main reason for this rejection was that Congress approved in February 2023 a constitutional accusation against Castillo for alleged crimes including being the leader of a criminal ring, influence peddling, and collusion. In December 2022, Castillo was removed from office after attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.

Newspaper El Comercio revealed that two and a half weeks ago, Castillo submitted an appeal to access his pension.

In dialogue with Canal N, Castillo’s lawyer, Walter Ayala, stated that more than 15 days have passed since he submitted the document and, to date, they have not received a response. He also said  that if the appeal is rejected, they will file a writ of amparo and go to the highest courts.