(above) Moderator Jose María "Chema" Salcedo mistakens the debate for a confrontation hall. (Cartoon: Rafael/Perú21)

Debate Highlights: Spicy as Rocoto - What the candidates said to each other

By Jorge Riveros-Cayo, LivinginPeru.com

Unlike previous debates, this time Keiko Fujimori (Fuerza 2011) and Ollanta Humala (Gana Perú) confronted each other like two solitary crusaders in a wasteland.

Aiming at each other with subtle aggressiveness at first but using more heavy ammunition as the debate progressed, both candidates reminded each other of their unhappy reputations, making strong remarks that kept listener's safely from yawning and boredom.

The following is a selection of the most shrewd and aggressive remarks made to each other:

“During the administration in which Ms. Fujimori was First Lady, Alberto Fujimori embezzled 600 million dollars, enough money to finance ‘Pensión 65’ for more than five years to benefit 120 thousand Peruvians.”(Humala)

“I don’t believe in the ‘chorreo’ policy implemented by Mr. Toledo. That is why it strongly surprises me that you, Commander Humala, who criticized that policy that you used as an excuse to perpetrate a coup, you call today those same technicians to be part of your team.”(Fujimori)

“Ms. Fujimori, you claim to defend the rights of the poorest women, however during the government in which you were First Lady, 300 thousand women were sterilized without their consent. You were 26 years old, not a kid. Additionally, a person close to you and in your campaign team, Dr. Aguinaga, who was minister back then implemented these policies based on the premise that to get rid of poverty you need to get rid of the poor.”(Humala)

“I will never tag terrorists as belligerent groups like you call them, Commander Humala.”(Fujimori)

“Ms. Fujimori, your father pleaded guilty for corruption crimes; in 2006 you were financed by a family accused of drug trafficking and you have said you will not give back that money. You have also been called in by the Fifth Attorney’s Office for alleged drug trafficking cover-up, bribery and influence peddling charges. How can we believe you when you proclaim a war against corruption and drug trafficking?”(Humala)

“I confronted Vladimiro Montesinos, you instead headed the Locumba uprising to cover-up his escape, according to Montesinos. So let’s speak clearly, Commander Humala. We know who confronted and who covered-up Mr. Montesinos.”(Fujimori)

“We know that Ms. Fujimori has defended corrupts in Congress, so now we want to know if it is part of her campaign strategy to say she will not grant pardons to people imprisoned for corruption crimes.” (Humala)

“I don’t have any judiciary investigations or pending trials as my adversary, Commander Humala, who has been accused of bribing witnesses in the process for violation of human rights.”(Fujimori)

“There are no accusations against me for human rights violations. I have always cooperated with justice, and it is that same justice that acquitted me and condemmed your father, congresswoman Fujimori, for human rights violations and corruption.”(Humala)

“I am the candidate, not Alberto Fujimori. If you want to debate with me, confront my ideas. If you want to debate with Alberto Fujimori, you can go to the Diroes (…) I will make the decisions if I am elected president of Peru.” (Fujimori)

“When the Fujimori regime ended, in 2000, and congresswoman Fujimori was First Lady, her father left the economy in recession and with a serious fiscal debt (…), 54 percent of the people were poor, 23 thousand companies went broke and a million farmers were ruined. That is the government that Ms. Fujimori reivindicates so proudly.” (Humala)

“In your government plan you say you want to change the Constitution 17 times, more or less, but later in your ‘Compromise with Peru,’ in your 'Road Map,' and during your oath you said you wouldn’t. I would like to know if you will keep the Constitution of 1993.” (Fujimori)