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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 8: The Military and the Many Uses of Drug Profits - 179


Chapter 8 The Military and the Many Uses of Drug Profits The end cannot justify the means for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced. (Aldous Huxley) 1. Introduction During the Fujimori era a large number of Peruvian military officials were put on trial and received stiff prison sentences for their involve- ment with drug traffickers. However, this prosecution of individual cases of corruption served only to conceal the true links that existed between Peruvian military officials and criminals. Among other things, officers who had fallen out with Montesinos were often charged and sentenced. Still, the dramatic increase in the number of military officials who were prosecuted for their involvement in the drug trade even by the inefficient and crooked Peruvian judicial system attested that corruption was systemic rather than individual. Between 1980 and 1985, eight members of Peru’s armed forces were put on trial because of links to the drug trade. This number grew to thirty-one for the period between 1985 and 1990, but increased tenfold between 1990 and 1996 to three hundred and nine (Gestión, Aug. 25/96: 15). Dammert (2001) even argued that the 1992 autogolpe was in reality a narcogolpe [drug coup] that served the purpose of gaining control over the narcotics trade with which Montesinos had been deeply entangled since his days of defending drug traffickers. Dam- 180 mert also claimed that Fujimori had received US$ 1 million from the Medellín Cartel’s Pablo Escobar to...

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