Peru’s disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori and three of his health ministers will have charges reissued against them for the alleged forced sterilization of women during his term.
As part of a government program, doctors operated on about 300,000 women, mostly poor and Indigenous. Thousands say they did not consent to the procedure, and were harassed, threatened and blackmailed into complying.
Over 2,000 people have filed lawsuits against the sterilizations, and official data says that 18 women died as a result of the procedure.
The renewed charges center around five women who died after having the surgery.
“I feel very happy because this presents an opportunity to bring justice forward for the damage they caused us,” Nilda Guerrero Carrasco, one of the thousands of women who underwent the procedure, told La Republica.
“They forced me to be sterilized in a hospital in Huancabamba, by law of Fujimori. I didn’t want to have the operation. Now there is hope that the guilty will be imprisoned.”
Peru’s chief prosecutor, Luis Landa, has brought the charges against Fujimori and his former ministers Marino Costa Bauer, Eduardo Yong and Alejandro Aguinaga.
Fujimori, 79, was previously serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuses and corruption committed during his term, but was pardoned less than halfway through it by now disgraced former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, in what many saw as a bargain with far-right forces in congress to avoid the latter’s impeachment.