Susana Higuchi, former first lady of Peru during the government of Alberto Fujimori and mother of opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, died this Wednesday at the age of 71 a victim of cancer, her family announced on Twitter.
Higuchi, the daughter of Japanese immigrants, had been admitted to a hospital in Lima for a month.
“After one tough fight against cancer, our mother, Susana Higuchi, has just left to meet God, ”Keiko Fujimori wrote on Twitter.
The former first lady helped finance Fujimori’s presidential campaign in 1990, when he was an unknown and could not raise enough funds in his political contest against candidate and novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.
Higuchi, an engineer by profession, had four children with the former president, from whom she divorced and accused of domestic violence, corruption, and then he became critical of his government from the opposition ranks.
In 1994, when she was still first lady, Higuchi told the press that she had been held hostage and tortured by her husband.
They divorced the following year and Keiko Fujimori, with 19 years, then became the first lady of Peru.
Higuchi said she was tortured after denouncing relatives of Alberto Fujimori for allegedly selling Japanese donations destined for poor people.
In 1994, he tried to challenge Fujimori for the presidency, but the president passed a law that prevented close family members from succeeding him.
For five years, until 2006, he served as a popular member of an anti-Fujimori party in Congress, the Independent Moralizing Front, which it caused a deep division in the family.
Then, after reconciling, he endorsed two of his daughter’s three presidential races, in 2016 and 2021.
Alberto Fujimori, 83, is being held under police protection for a heart condition. Since 2007, he has served a 25-year sentence for corruption and crimes against humanity.
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