Antauro Humala’s freedom transforms Peru’s unstable political body

Antauro Humala’s freedom transforms Peru’s unstable political body

Antauro Humala, brother of former Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, in a photo taken September 18, 2012.Antauro Humala, brother of former Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, pictured on 18 September 2012. EFE

Ultranationalist politician Antauro Humala, brother of former President Ollanta Humala, left Ancón II prison in north Lima this Saturday, a year and seven months before serving his 19-year sentence for rebellion and the murder of four police officers in January ​had 2005. , when he tried to force the resignation of then-Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo. Humala, a retired army major, leads an ethnocacerist movement that groups mostly military veterans, rejects the white elite, and ensures descendants of indigenous peoples rise to power. His supporters were part of the security forces in the second-round campaign of Pedro Castillo, who now faces six tax corruption investigations in less than a year of the leadership.

On Friday evening, the National Penitentiary Institute (INPE) reported in a statement that the technical council of the prison where Humala was serving a sentence decided to release him “for serving a sentence of redemption” with seven days of work and training for one of Sentence. The prison authority added that the inmate’s attorney, Carmen Huidobro, had asked three times for her release to have the sentence overturned, but had previously been denied because she had not served the number of days required by the standard.

According to INPE, Humala worked and studied in prison for 3,667 days. In August last year, a judicial journalist from the newspaper La República calculated how much time remains for the sentence to be redeemed after the prison authorities had already recorded it, and predicted on Twitter that the prisoner should be released around the 13th of this month.

In 2009, the judiciary sentenced Humala to 25 years in prison for aggravated murder, rebellion, kidnapping and theft of arms – among other crimes – in the Andahuaylazo, as the violent takeover of a police station in the capital of the Abancay region was called, with the aim of prompting Toledo to step down from the to force the presidency. In 2011, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence for simple murder to 19 years.

As soon as the prison authorities announced the extremist politician’s release, the opposition questioned his release and accused President Castillo of unduly favoring him. Opponents believe that Humala could help Castillo mobilize in his favor given the severe government crisis he has been facing since last year.

After two Congressional impeachment motions that failed to secure enough votes, a segment of Parliament is sticking to the intention of removing Castillo from office over the tax investigation that has put the President, First Lady and three of the President’s brothers-in-law on the ropes , along with other people close to him and former officials. Castillo came to power with a promise to guarantee rights for the most disadvantaged and with the project of a constituent assembly, but he soon abandoned that agenda.

Subscribe to EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.

Subscribe to

Vivian Olivos, a congressman from the Popular Force Fujimori party, called on the Legislative Oversight Commission to urgently subpoena the Attorney General to declare Antauro Humala’s sentence suspended. Another opposition MP, Carlos Anderson, said on his networks that “the government has no problem setting the country on fire to ‘save the President,'” referring to Humala’s release.

Former justice minister and opposition spokeswoman Marisol Pérez Tello, on the other hand, commented on a TV program that the decision to overturn the ethnocacerist leader’s sentence was “not happy, but legal”.

Asked by the press this Saturday about her representative’s possible return to politics, attorney Huidobro stated that Humala had paid 130,000 soles in civil damages – “unlike Fujimori” – and had no restrictions or codes of conduct to comply with. “He hasn’t told me, but it’s likely (that he will return to political activity) because he’s a well-known leader. The ethnocaceristas, antauristas and people who follow the elder come to Lima to accompany him when he comes out,” added the lawyer outside Ancón II prison in northern Lima.

Vladimir Cerrón, founder of the orthodox left-wing party that nominated Castillo as the 2021 presidential candidate, spoke positively about Humala’s release. “We welcome the release of Antauro Humala after a long prison sentence, an unjust punishment that should never have been of this kind,” tweeted the President of Peru Libre.

Peru is experiencing an ongoing political crisis of government that has resulted in it having five presidents since 2018. According to the latest poll by the Institute of Peruvian Studies, 85% of the population disapproved of the Congress’ performance, 71% disapproved of the President and 65% agreed that general elections should be called forward. More than 190 organizations, civil unions and churches promote political dialogue to promote elections and electoral reform, but the executive and legislature remain in their thirteen.

In this scenario of depletion of the political system, anthropologist Ramón Pajuelo believes that “there is always scope for someone to confront the government and the political class and propose profound changes, and some of the current support for Castillo could come from one Antauro are attracted to confrontational discourse and structural change”. “Free Antauro could be the perfect justification for those trying to perpetuate the current chaos: both for Congress and for the government,” adds Pajuelo, senior researcher at the Institute for Peruvian Studies.

Follow all international information on Facebook and Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.