Criminal Governance in Peru during the Fujimori Era (1990-2000)
Chapter 4: Controlling Society: The SIN and the Military - 85
Chapter 4 Controlling Society: The SIN and the Military The test for whether one is living in a police state is that those who are charged with enforcing the law are allowed to break the laws with impunity. (Jon Roland) 1. Introduction Peru’s armed forces have historically been involved in their country’s politics. Of the seventy-six presidents who governed Peru between in- dependence in 1821 and the 1968 revolution, fifty came from the mi- litary. This fact helps explain the historical weakness of political par- ties in that country (Philip, 1978; also see Cleaves and Pease García, 1983; Skidmore and Smith, 1984; Durand, 1997). Between 1992 and 2000 Peru was not officially run by a military government, never- theless the armed forces played a powerful role in society. As de- scribed by Kay (1996), the military was the political party that Fuji- mori lacked. Degregori (2001) observed similarly that “the intelli- gence services and the armed forces replaced” the need for a “govern- ment party” (2001: 78). Levitsky and Cameron (2003) noted that Fuji- mori’s reliance on the military establishment as opposed to a political party only added to his partiality “for illegal and covert campaign acti- vities” (2003: 21). Given the president’s inexperience “with the give and take of democratic politics ..., [he] opted for an authoritarian strategy for political survival ...” (Ibid, 7). Moreover, while Peru’s military was a relatively independent partner in the early years of the 86 government, it increasingly fell under the sway of Montesinos and...
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