Peruvian Feminists Protest Dictator's Daughter's Bid for Presidency

A group of young female protestors joined forces to stop Keiko Fujimori, the 40-year-old daughter of former dictator Alberto Fujimori, from becoming the next president of Peru.

"Today we are going to use our bodies as a political tool," one of the protest organizers told Fusion. "We are going to scream and march for those who can't be here, for those whose voices have been silenced."

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In the 1990s, more than 300,000 women were sterilized due to a birth control program put in place by then-president Fujimori. More than 2,000 of the uneducated campesinas who were victimized have come forth, saying they were forcibly sterilized. But the dictator's daughter denied these claims, asserting the numbers were as low as 300.

"She has described these cases as a mistake made by doctors, but not as a [flawed] state policy," said Sandra de la Cruz, a campaign organizer for the women's rights group Demos.

Keiko has promised to "try to find out the truth," but feminist organizations worry she will only come in to dismantle the progress that has been made.

With red paint symbolizing blood on their thighs and belts designed as uteri, the women marched down Lima chanting, "we are the daughters of the campensinas who you couldn't sterilize." The protest continued even as TV crews raced to keep up.

"If you look at her congressional record, you can see that she has no track record on women's rights," said Lisbeth Guillen, a policy director at the women's foundation Manuela Ramos.

But not everyone is against another Fujimori presidency. Some approved Fujimori's regime because, according to them, he kept hyperinflation and rebel violence at bay. 

"You must not forget that it was Fujimori who ended terrorism in Peru," said Marta Avalos, a supporter of his daughter's presidential bid. "We used to live with lots of uncertainty here, with car bombs and killings going on all time."

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Watch a portion of this empowering protest in the video above.