When Alberto Fujimori first stood as a presidential candidate in Peru in 1990, he was thought of as an outsider and received little attention at first. After all, the unknown dean of an agricultural university—who became notable for driving a tractor to campaign rallies—was squaring off against future Nobel Prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa, who wanted to implement Thatcherite reforms in Peru.
But it was his promise to crush the Maoist insurgency group Shining Path and his rhetoric against the rich, white elites in a mostly poor, multiracial country that struck a chord with the electorate. Mr. Fujimori went on to rule the country with an iron fist for ten years, resigning after mounting corruption accusations.
Since his surprise win, “Fujimorismo” became the center of Peru’s political life—drawing as many supporters as detractors. Thirty years down the line, however, Fujimorismo is fading away.