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Corruption as Power

Criminal Governance in Peru during the Fujimori Era (1990-2000)

Alfredo Schulte-Bockholt

This book deals with the political corruption which infested Peru during the Fujimori years (1990-2000). The work is not about petty corruption, the small bribe paid to the underpaid police officer to avoid being booked for a minor traffic violation, but addresses the corruption of the powerful. Elites rely on corruption, and particularly in repressive regimes the practice is the most important tool of ‘criminal governance’. The author utilizes the concept of the protection racket developed by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno from the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory to explain the links between political, economic, and societal elites in Fujimori’s Peru such as the military, political parties, multinational corporations, or conservative groups within the Catholic Church.

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Chapter 7: Conservative Catholicism, Human Rights and Democracy: Sad Tales from Peru - 151

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Chapter 7 Conservative Catholicism, Human Rights and Democracy: Sad Tales from Peru The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him [or her] to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. (Friedrich Nietzsche) 1. Introduction One of the least explored chapters of the Fujimori dictatorship is the support the regime received from the Catholic Church. It is the argu- ment here that conservative sectors of the Church, notably from the order Opus Dei (OD), provided the regime with much needed backing and legitimacy. However, the influence of such conservative Catholic orders is not limited to Peru but has been growing in much of Latin America and Europe. Similar groups are the Legionarios de Christo [Legionnaires of Christ] in Mexico, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae [Company of Christian Life] from Peru, Ciudad de Dios [City of God] in Nicaragua, or Comunione e Liberazione [Communion and Libe- ration] which stems from Italy. This development is a direct outcome of policy shifts effectively resulting in a rollback of the reform process initiated by the Second Vatican Council (1963–1965). These turn- abouts, introduced since 1978 by the late Pope John Paul II and con- tinued by his successor Benedict XVI, have resulted in a loss of influence by the moderate and progressive forces within the Vatican, notably the Jesuit order and other organizations who identified with concepts such as Liberation theology or the decentralization of the 152 Church. Opus Dei – often described as secretive – was the object...

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