Fujimori Takes Over

Frustrated, Peru's President shuts down Congress and rules by decree

RELENTLESS TERRORISM AND ECONOMIC DISINTEgration dealt a mortal blow to Peru's fragile democracy. With military support, President Alberto Fujimori closed down Congress and the judiciary, suspended the constitution and said he would rule by decree. Troops and tanks surrounded the Palace of Justice and the parliament building; journalists and opposition politicians were placed under arrest.

The only surprise for many observers was that it took so long for the putsch to come. Large tracts of Peruvian territory have been overrun by drug traffickers and vicious Shining Path guerrillas, whose terrorist campaign has reached the shantytowns around Lima, the nation's capital. Less...

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