Family photo taken in 1990 of then-president Alberto Fujimori, his wife Susana Higuchi and their children HO (AFP)
The engineer, former first lady of Peru and former deputy, Susana Higuchi Miyagawa, died this Wednesday at the age of 73 from cancer, after 29 days in intensive care in two private clinics in Lima. The ex-wife of autocrat Alberto Fujimori has been exiled from the trustworthy environment of the Government Palace since March 1992, when she denounced that her husband’s relatives had stolen donated clothes and money in Japan for people living in poverty. Her eldest daughter, former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, confirmed the death on Twitter: “After a long battle with cancer, our mother has just gone to meet God.”
Higuchi filed for divorce in 1994 and attempted to run for president in 1995 by competing with her ex-husband, but could not because Congress – manipulated by the then president – passed a law to prevent it. They called it popularly the Susana law.
Higuchi was the daughter of Japanese, and her family ran a thriving tire retreading and repair business. He studied civil engineering, married in 1974 and had four children with Fujimori. In 1992, she appeared before the press, a few days before the auto-coup, to denounce the corruption of her in-laws, which pushed her husband and children to turn their backs on her. The autocrat withdrew the post of first lady, which was assumed by her eldest daughter. “You cannot give in to blackmail or intimidation, wherever it comes from. So I decided to separate my wife from the role of first lady, ”Fujimori announced in a televised message.
She was not silent. From the door of the seat of the Executive, he replied: “Since my husband took office, from the first day, I was more than anything in the hearts of the Peruvian people, that is why they accuse me. of disloyalty, I do not know what they call a treason. “At that time, to the knowledge of her husband, the three brothers of the then president and their partners managed in a discretionary way the donations of money and clothes who arrived from Japan through two NGOs called Apenkai and Aken.
In the book History of Corruption in Peru, author Alfonso Quiroz estimates that Fujimori and his relatives embezzled around $ 100 million in donations, and that only 10% of them reached their original recipients. Referring to her two sisters-in-law, Higuchi told the press in 1992: “They get donations from Japan, clothes, and they take the best for them: they give out scouring pads and use my name and that m ‘unworthy.” The first lady wanted to report the crimes to the prosecution, but her husband told her they would archive the investigations. State powers were then submitted to the Executive and to Presidential Adviser Vladimiro Montesinos, de facto head of the armed forces. At that time, a TV reporter was looking for Higuchi in the government palace and she answered by phone, “They will not let me leave the residence and the gate is shackled by order of my husband.
After the closure of Congress and military control of the media by the April 1992 auto-coup, the Fujimori family left the Government Palace and went to live in a military barracks. Higuchi denounced that she was also locked in this facility and that members of the armed forces tortured her and applied electric shocks to her. In 1994, he filed for divorce. The former first lady’s mental and physical health has since collapsed.
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After Fujimori fled Peru in November 2000 and resigned from the presidency, due to revelations of videos of his government’s corruption, Higuchi ran as a congressman of the Independent Moralizing Front and was a deputy between 2001 and 2006. In In 2002, while a public prosecutor’s office was working to investigate the crimes committed by Fujimori and Montesinos, in a letter to the weekly Caretas, the former first lady assured: “Keiko abandoned me. He preferred his father’s dirty money. He has the face of a devil to me ”.
Her eldest daughter ran for the 2011 presidential elections for the first time. During the 2016 election campaign, Higuchi appeared with her daughter, already with a degraded face. She also took part in some proselytizing activity this year, when the leader of the Fuerza Popular was running for the presidency for the third time.
Since losing the elections in June, Keiko Fujimori has participated in some public activities while facing legal proceedings for money laundering and criminal organization, having received contributions from millionaires from Odebrecht and other large Peruvian companies for their election campaigns. Yes, he reappeared in November at the gates of a private clinic to report his mother’s poor health. In the following days, her sister Sachi took charge of monitoring the medical progress of the former first lady. On November 22, the opposition leader tweeted that Higuchi had been transferred to another sanatorium specializing in oncology. It was there that he died on Wednesday.
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