Australian Federal Police

Drug trafficking key issue in Peruvian presidential politics

DRUG trafficking has emerged as a key issue in the battle for the Peruvian presidency, which will be decided on Sunday.

The favourite, Keiko Fujimori, is the 41-year-old daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori - a hero for some and villain to others.

Credited with reforming Peru's economy, he also was linked to death squads during his reign from 1990-2000 and is serving a maximum 25 years in prison for murder, kidnapping and corruption.

Ms Fujimori's opponent, 77-year-old former economy minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, warns victory for his rival would mean "the return of dictatorship, corruption and lies", and has tried to link her to drug trade and money laundering.

"I am convinced that freedom is at serious risk in Peru," he declared in the final campaign debate on May 29.

Mr Kuczynski used the debate to quiz his rival about the 2013 seizure of 91kg of cocaine at a warehouse linked to her brother and pointed out that 11 MPs from her Popular Force party were being investigated for money laundering - five in connection to drugs.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration is also reportedly investigating Joaquin Ramirez, the general secretary of Popular Force and chief financier of Ms Fujimori's campaign until he stepped aside three days after the DEA story broke.



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