Both sides claimed to be defending democracy from the opposite. Both appealed to Peru’s navy, which had historically performed a task of final arbiter, virtually akin to that of a supreme courtroom. The public, deeply polarized, cut up. The navy was additionally cut up.
The Themes of the Jan. 6 House Committee Hearings
At the important second, sufficient political and navy elites signaled help for Mr. Fujimori that he prevailed. They got here collectively informally, every reacting to occasions individually, and plenty of interesting to completely different ends, resembling Mr. Fujimori’s financial agenda, notions of stability, or an opportunity for his or her occasion to prevail beneath the brand new order.
Peru fell into quasi-authoritarianism, with political rights curtailed and elections nonetheless held however beneath phrases that favored Mr. Fujimori, till he was faraway from workplace in 2000 over corruption allegations. Last yr, his daughter ran for the presidency as a right-wing populist, shedding by lower than 50,000 votes.
Modern Latin America has repeatedly confronted such crises. This is due much less to any shared cultural traits, many students argue, than to a historical past of Cold War meddling that weakened democratic norms. It additionally stems from American-style presidential methods, and deep social polarization that paves the way in which for excessive political fight.
Presidential democracies, by dividing energy amongst competing branches, create extra alternatives for rival places of work to conflict, even to the purpose of usurping each other’s powers. Such methods additionally blur questions of who’s in cost, forcing their branches to resolve disputes informally, on the fly and at occasions by drive.
Venezuela, as soon as the area’s oldest democracy, endured a collection of constitutional crises as President Hugo Chávez clashed with judges and different authorities our bodies that blocked his agenda. Each time, Mr. Chávez, and later his successor, Nicolás Maduro, appealed to authorized and democratic rules to justify weakening these establishments till, over time, the leaders’ actions, ostensibly to avoid wasting democracy, had all however gutted it.