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LATIN AMERICA | 22-08-2022 11:16

Leader of 2005 Peru uprising released early from prison

Peruvian leader Antauro Humala, whose movement seeks to put Indigineous peoples in power, was unexpectedly released from prison. The figurehead of a failed 2005 uprising suggested he will return to politics.

Antauro Humala, the brother of a former Peruvian president and leader of a failed 2005 uprising, was released early from prison on Saturday, hinting at a return to politics.  

The sibling of former President Ollanta Humala and an ex-military officer is the leader of Peru's Ethnocacerist ethnic nationalist movement that seeks to put the country's Indigenous peoples in power.  

He served more than 17 years of a 19-year prison term handed down for the 2005 uprising, which sought to force the resignation of democratically elected president Alejandro Toledo.

He and supporters attacked a police station in the southern Andean city of Andahuaylas, leaving six people dead, including four police officers.

"We all feel very proud of what we did in Andahuaylas," Antauro Humala said after his release from the Ancon II prison in northern Lima. 

A handful of supporters waited outside the facility chanting "President Antauro."

The 59-year-old has long been a media obsession thanks to his wide-ranging eccentricities.

His lawyer Carmen Huidobro hinted at a return to politics after his release, saying, "It is possible that (Antauro) will resume political life, it is likely that he will run for some office."

His sentence was reduced due to time spent dedicated to work and education, the country's prison authority announced in a surprise decision on Friday night, under a law that allowed him to deduct one year and seven months. 

During the 2021 election campaign, current leftist President Pedro Castillo proposed pardoning Humala, but once in power he never spoke publicly about the issue again.

Antauro and Ollanta Humala, a retired lieutenant colonel, are longtime political rivals but in 2000 they led a rebellion against president Alberto Fujimori, who is serving a 25-year sentence for crimes against humanity committed during his presidency.

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