Peruvian ex-leaders Fujimori and Humala share bread in prison

Lima (AFP) –


Once adversaries, former Peruvian presidents Alberto Fujimori and Ollanta Humala are getting along as fellow prisoners, sharing bread and cheese on Humala's first night behind bars, Fujimori's son said Monday.

Kenji Fujimori said in a newspaper column that when last Friday he visited his father -- who has been locked up since 2007 on a 25-year sentence for corruption and crimes against humanity -- he told him to go and give supplies to Humala, who had just been jailed pending trial on graft charges.

"Take this with you," Alberto Fujimori told his son, pulling out bread and cheese to give the new inmate, Kenji recounted in the daily El Comercio. He also gave him a blanket and a coat to deliver.

Guards had permitted him to meet with Humala behind bars for a couple of hours after his arrival on Thursday. He said he noted the former leader had no basic items for his stay -- "nothing -- not even a towel," he told his father.

The entourage of both ex-presidents confirmed that Kenji Fujimori had met with Humala. Television images showed him again visiting the penitentiary on Monday.

In his column, he said the camaraderie was to be expected. "Politics is one thing, life is another. This is a time to heal wounds," he wrote.

Yet the two former leaders were once enemies.

In 2000, when Humala was an army officer, he attempted a coup against the Fujimori government; he was later pardoned.

Humala and his wife were last week ordered to prison for 18 months, ahead of their trial for "money laundering against the interest of the state."

They are charged with accepting illegal campaign donations from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Humala, president from 2011-2016, said the ruling was "confirmation of abuse of power," vowing on Twitter to face it head-on "in defense of our rights."

He and his wife were to appeal the pre-trial detention.

Four of Peru's last five presidents have faced corruption scandals.

The graft scandal linked to Odebrecht has rocked several Latin American countries.

One of the main prosecution claims is that Humala and his wife, Nadine Heredia, accepted $3 million from Odebrecht for the 2011 presidential campaign.

The Brazilian construction giant admitted to paying $29 million in bribes in Peru to win government building contracts between 2005 and 2014 -- a time period that also includes the presidencies of Alejandro Toledo and Alan Garcia.

Toledo -- president from 2001-2006 -- is currently in the United States in defiance of an 18-month pre-trial detention order for allegedly receiving $20 million in Odebrecht bribes.