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When Peru Practiced Mass Sterilization With IMF Blessings ( 0) Printer friendly page Print This
By Henry Moreigne (Le Monde). Dady Chery. Axis of Logic
Le Monde (French). Axis of Logic (English Translation)
Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011

(Translated from French (Le Monde) for Axis of Logic by Dady Chery)

June 7, 2011

The French media have said little in favor of the victory by leftist-nationalist candidate Ollanta Humala over Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, in Sunday’s Peruvian presidential elections. The elections revived a scandal about a forced-sterilization program led by Alberto Fujimori from 1995 to 2000 with blessings from the IMF, financial support from NGOs including the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), and few questions about the approaches used.

Under IMF tutelage and banner for the fight against poverty by birth control, during the late 90's Alberto Fujimori, Peruvian politician of Japanese ancestry, promoted a program of forced sterilization for the lowest social strata. Illiterate indigenous peasants were the key target. The reported number of victims is 300,000. Over the same period 25,590 men underwent vasectomies.

The family planning program that advocated this voluntary surgical contraception (AQV) was answering a call from the IMF to reduce the country’s birth rate.

In exchange for bonuses, government emissaries persuaded women to let themselves be operated on for some cash and for food that was limited mostly to a bag of rice. The finality of the sterilization was kept hidden. Appalling sanitation resulted in medical complications. Over 20 deaths were officially recorded.

The reports mostly show that the victims were usually not informed when they gave their consent, and coercive measures were often used. The program also involved a quota system. Public-sector medical personnel were forced, under threat of dismissal, to sterilize some number of women set by their department every month.

In twenty years, only one family has been compensated, although around 2,000 have filed complaints.

Although many observers have expressed concern about Ollanta Humala, whose personality is presented as caustic because of his Marxist-Leninist roots, the victory of this former lieutenant-colonel seems more like "The Revenge of the other Peru": that of the poor Indian. Peru’s 48-year old new president is putting aside the Chavez model and wishing to follow in Lula’s footsteps.

Translated for Axis of Logic by author and columnist, Dady Chery.

Original Source in French: Le Monde

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