Still, many Peruvians and human rights activists continued to assail the pardon, which was announced on Sunday evening, three days after a legislative faction led by Kenji Fujimori denied Mr. Kuczynski’s foes the supermajority they needed to oust him. Mr. Kuczynski categorically ruled out pardoning Alberto Fujimori when he was in a tight race for the presidency in 2016 against the former leader’s daughter Keiko Fujimori.
“I feel deceived by a president who has lied once again,” said Carolina Huaman Oyague, one of thousands of protesters who took to the streets in Lima, the capital, on Tuesday. “We will continue on the streets and will fight so that the judicial process under which he was tried is respected.”
Her cousin Dora Oyague Fierro was one of several students at La Cantuta University who were abducted and killed in 1992 by a military death squad tied to Mr. Fujimori. She said that Mr. Kuczynski’s office had ignored repeated requests for meetings with a group of the victims’ relatives.
In a televised address on Monday, Mr. Kuczynski called the pardon “perhaps the most difficult decision in my life,” but defended it as a gesture of clemency. He urged protesters to “turn the page,” saying the move was part of an “effort at reconciliation” in a polarized nation. “Those of us who feel democratic should not allow Alberto Fujimori to die in prison,” the president said. “Justice is not revenge.”
Human rights experts and political analysts in the region rebuked Mr. Kuczynski for pardoning one of the few Latin American strongmen who has been held accountable in a judicial proceeding for grave abuses committed while in office.
“Granting pardons is a prerogative that demands rigorous case-by-case analysis, taking into account the severity of the deeds through a transparent and inclusive process that is in line with international human rights norms,” said Amerigo Incalcaterra, the South America representative for the United…