Former President Alberto Fujimori underwent surgery for a tumor on his tongue: Does he still have a political future after his release? 

By May 3, 2024

Lima, Peru — Peru’s former President Alberto Fujimori, whose controversial release led the country to be considered in contempt by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, underwent surgery for a tongue lesion after being admitted to the hospital on Monday, April 20.

His daughter, Keiko Fujimori, leader of the Fuerza Popular party, reported through X on Tuesday that her father underwent surgery without complications during the night of April 29. “He is now recovering in his room.”

“The medical report literally specifies that Alberto Fujimori has an ‘outpatient presumptive diagnosis of malignant tumor at the base of the tongue with probable right cervical metastasis’,” the former presidential candidate reported the day before.

The definitive diagnosis and treatment will be determined after the test results are known.

Fujimori, 85, was president of Peru from 1990 to 2000. He was released in December 2023 by order of the Constitutional Court (TC) while serving a 25-year sentence imposed in 2007 for various crimes, including crimes against humanity.

The former president is currently facing a judicial process for similar charges in the Pativilca case for the murder of six people in 1992, for which the Public Ministry requested a 25-year prison sentence. His former right-hand man, Vladimiro Montesinos, has already been convicted in the Pativilca case in January 2024, receiving a 19-year prison sentence.

Since his release, Fujimori has been quite active on social media after creating accounts on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and X. He has used these accounts to reflect on different moments in his government and defend himself against charges and accusations.

The former president has also been seen walking the streets of Lima after his release, despite showing deteriorating health for several years. He has even given statements to the press regarding the current situation and government.

In February, he stated that “it is still premature to make decisions” regarding his daughter Keiko’s candidacy in the upcoming elections, but he anticipated that “fujimorismo will be present” in the electoral contest. He also revealed an “agreement” from the Fuerza Popular party for President Dina Boluarte to remain in power until 2026.

A potential presidential candidacy of Alberto Fujimori

Enrique Ghersi, an expert in law and political analysis, recently suggested that if former President Fujimori recovers and enjoys good health, he could be considered a possible presidential candidate in 2026.

“Alberto could be seen as the presidential candidate with his daughter Keiko as vice president, thus fulfilling the notion of alternation, similar to the scheme of Juan Domingo Perón with Isabelita,” he pointed out on the online program CanalB.

Ghersi argued that Alberto Fujimori has higher political capital than Keiko: “I believe that Keiko, being an intelligent woman, should acknowledge this. Fujimorismo with Keiko represents 10% in the first round. Of course, this guarantees them to advance to the second round, but we face the same scenario as in the last three elections.” 

In 2021, Keiko lost the second electoral round against Pedro Castillo, a third consecutive defeat after losing to Ollanta Humala and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

“Unlike Keiko, with Alberto Fujimori, they would surely get many more votes. I estimate that Alberto Fujimori would contribute between 20 or 25% to his party, which would guarantee him a parliamentary majority,” Ghersi said.