Former Peruvian leader returns to face corruption, human rights charges

By
September 23, 2007 00:09

 
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Former President Alberto Fujimori was extradited Saturday from Chile to face charges of corruption and sanctioning death-squad killings, a grim homecoming for the strongman who fled Peru seven years ago as his government collapsed in scandal. Hundreds of supporters were gathered to greet Peru's former leader as his police plane landed in a heavy mist at Las Palmas air force base, across town from Lima's international airport. Many Peruvians were elated by Fujimori's extradition but others were indignant. He maintains a strong following - a recent poll showed that 23 percent of Peruvians want to see him back in politics - and some worry his return could provoke turmoil in a country emerging from decades of political and economic chaos. "There will be a sector of the country that will identify with him, and he will play a destabilizing opposition role," said congressman Javier Valle Riestra, a leader of President Alan Garcia's Aprista party.

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