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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 10: Pecunia ... Olet (And Not All that Shines is Gold) - 219

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Chapter 10 Pecunia ... Olet (And Not All that Shines is Gold) Corrupt, stupid grasping functionaries will make at least as big a muddle of Socialism as stupid, selfish and acquisitive employers can make of Capitalism. (Walter Lippmann) 1. Introduction The Río Tinto basin in Andalucía, Spain, is one of the oldest mining sites in the world dating back some 5,000 years. It has been exploited by Iberians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Spanish, and British. In the 1880s the British Rio Tinto Mining Cor- poration was involved in the exploitation of gold, silver, and copper. The company not only provided extremely poor conditions and pitiful wages to its workers, mining activities also released highly toxic fumes of sulphur dioxide which destroyed the pastures, decimated the farm animals, polluted the air, and wrecked people’s health. Company officials had told locals that the poisonous substances had positive health effects because they killed off viruses. When some 11,000 miners, farmers, and inhabitants of the nearby town of Río Tinto gathered to protest these abuses and demand improvements, the com- pany called on its friends in high places who sent in the military. Upon their arrival the soldiers fired several salvoes into the crowd that inclu- ded women, children, and old people. Thereafter, the troopers charged and bayoneted those on the ground. The number of dead was never determined because the bodies vanished, but according to estimates 220 several dozen protesters perished. Subsequently, the slaughter was de- leted from...

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