Jeanette Blain | Staff Writer | @JeanetteBlain
On April 16, Peruvian politician, Keiko Fujimori, spoke at UVU as part of the final event of the International and Multicultural Studies department’s 2015 Global Spotlight on Peru.
39-year-old Fujimori is expected to run in the 2016 Peruvian presidential elections and is a favorite to win. In 2011 she ran for president, but was narrowly defeated.
Her father, Alberto Fujimori, served as president of Peru from 1990 to 2000. In 2009 he was sentenced to prison for various political crimes. Keiko Fujimori insisted that he was unjustly imprisoned and talked about his accomplishments, such as building Peru’s economy and diminishing terrorism in the country.
During Alberto Fujimori’s time in office Keiko Fujimori served as First Lady of Peru from 1994 to 2000. She later served as a congresswoman.
“In the last 20 years, our country has been modernized. It is true that the Peru of today is not the same Peru that it was a couple of decades ago,” said Fujimori.
She said Peru has a growing tourism industry, and is rich in biodiversity and culinary heritage. “Today our cuisine is considered the best in Latin America,” said Fujimori.
She also talked about much needed reforms and became passionate when she spoke about her plan for the future of Peru.
“We now face a large threat, which is the influence of delinquency, pickpocketing, armed robberies and domestic violence,” Fujimori said.
She wants to place an emphasis on instilling good values in Peru’s children, and to make sure health services are provided in a more efficient manner.
“I want my children to live in a time of hope. For me, Politics is precisely the strength that must hold that hope, and make it our reality,” said Fujimori.
The English session was held in Centre Stage and was attended by 105 students, faculty and visitors. At 7:00 p.m. a Spanish session was held for the wider community in room CB 101, where Fujimori was given the Distinguished Honorary Professor award, presented by Baldomero Lago, senior director of International and Multicultural Studies.
Her 30 minute speech was followed by a question and answer period.
When asked about allegations of corruption within her family and her current political party she replied that she was glad to have the opportunity to clarify the misinformation about her family.
She said the Kroll Company, an independent corporate investigation company, had not found evidence of corruption.
“If they found something corrupt against my father, believe me, not even one percent of the population would vote for me or my political party,” Fujimori said.
Regarding her current party, she said that people in politics are subject to all kinds of attacks and lies.
“But, they’re not true, and because of that my party is considered the strongest and the best party. It’s number one in the polls,” said Fujimori.
She also answered questions from Peruvian audience members who expressed support for the Fujimori family. One asked, “Are you going to run for President? If you are we are going to help you.”
“Officially, I cannot say it yet, but of course, I’ve been preparing,” said Fujimori.