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LATIN AMERICA | 03-03-2022 19:38

Former Peruvian president Fujimori hospitalised for heart problems

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was hospitalised in an emergency on Thursday after suffering a heart problem in prison.

Former Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori was hospitalised in an emergency on Thursday after suffering a heart problem in prison, his personal doctor has revealed.

"He became decompensated at seven in the morning and began to have atrial fibrillation with a tremendous arrhythmia, and forced to take him to the closest health centre" to the police base where he has been serving a 25-year sentence since 2007, said Dr. Alejandro Aguinaga.

Fujimori, 83, has since been stabilised at the Ate Hospital, added the doctor, who is also a congressman for Fujimori's Fuerza Popular party. 

An ambulance later took him to the Centenario clinic, in the Lima district of Pueblo Libre, where he goes every time his health declines. 

After visiting the former president, Aguinaga told reporters that it was impossible for him to specify how many days his patient should be hospitalised.   

"He is a person who is about to turn 84 years old," he said. "His health is deteriorating." 

The doctor explained that Fujimori has been receiving oxygen for weeks "on a daily basis, in the afternoons, to compensate for pulmonary fibrosis," which forces him to walk while connected to an oxygen supply.  

 

Danger of life

According to the doctor, the former president has also suffered from atrial fibrillation since 2018, for which he underwent surgery last October.

"His life was in danger of not receiving assistance," a relative close to the family told AFP.   

The National Penitentiary Institute (INPE), which oversees prisons in the country, reported on Thursday morning that Fujimori, who served from 1990 to 2000 as Peru's head of state, had been "evacuated in an emergency due to decompensation."

The authority indicated that it applied the "regular procedures" in those cases, tacitly ruling out any delay in its proceedings. 

The former president is serving a 25-year prison sentence for the Barrios Altos (1991) and La Cantuta (1992) massacres, perpetrated by an Army death squad and which left 25 people (including a child) dead in an alleged anti-terrorist operation when he was president. 

Since 2007, when he arrived in Peru after having been extradited via Chile after five years in exile in Japan, he has repeatedly suffered from respiratory and neurological problems (facial paralysis) and hypertension.

In October 2021, Fujimori was hospitalised for heart problems and underwent a catheterisation to place a stent, a mesh to open clogged veins and arteries. On that occasion he remained hospitalised for two months.

The eldest daughter of the former president and opposition leader, Keiko Fujimori, said in October that the leftist government of current President Pedro Castillo was partly responsible for her father's worsening health after it said it would move him to another jail as part of a policy to put an end to the so-called "golden prisons" system that sees key prisoners kept in better conditions than most inmates.

Keiko Fujimori considered the government's claim "cruel and malicious" and said that changing his prison was an "attack" on the life of her father and a form of "revenge from a government."

The government announced last February that it stood by its plan to transfer Fujimori to a common prison when his health condition allows it.

 

 

– TIMES/AFP

 

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by Carlos Mandujano & Luis Jaime Cisneros, AFP

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