Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fuji Watch Day 5

Show Tomorrow, 7PM- Caroline's on Broadway.

There is no real development in Alberto Fujimori's case, but he gets some ink anyway.

Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa is interviewed by The New York Times Magazine in The Storyteller. Vargas Llosa, who lost to Fuji in the 1990 Peruvian presidential race, comments on Fuji's imprisonment and extradition: "I am very happy, of course. It’s an example for the future. He was a horrible dictator. He killed so many people; he stole so much money; he committed the most atrocious human-rights abuses."

Living In Exile Isn't What It Used to Be -Fuji's extradition from Chile to Peru is cited as a potential turning point in the tradition of guaranteed asylum for exiled dictators. Perhaps, but the story does not support this conclusion. Fuji was voluntarily returning to Peru when arrested in Chile. The ground breaker was England's arrest of former Chilean dictator Pinochet for extradition to Spain, where Pinochet was charged with torture based on his acts in Chile. In both cases the former dictators were travelling voluntarily. If Fuji had stayed in Japan, or if Pinochet had stayed home, they would not have been arrested. The number of nations that will arrest and extradite an exiled dictator may be expanding, but the Baby Docs of the world still seem to be safe if they stick to the the country that agreed to accept them when they fled in exile. Some of these dictators are escaping punishment for extraordinarily heinous crimes, but if they have no safe exit will they wreak even more havoc when trapped at home in the death throes of a malignant regime? For example, is Haiti better off getting rid of Baby Doc a few weeks sooner (Baby Doc commanding the tonton macoute in a fight for his life would have taken many additional innocent people down with him) even if the price is that he is never punished for the many brutal political murders during his reign of terror?

Former Serbian and Rwandan leaders face extradition to appear before international tribunals on genocide charges, but they never went into exile or made a deal with a host country to protect them from extradition, they are still living in the countries they ruled. Even their successful extradition won't undercut the "principle" that a host country will honor its no extradition commitment to an exiled dictator.

The world may be a more dangerous place for vacationing ex-dictators, and even for leaders who retire at home after a popular genocidal reign, the facts don't yet support the story's thesis that the exiled dictator can't count on avoiding extradition from his or her host country.

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