During Alberto Fujimori’s second term (1996- 2000) as president of Peru, between 260 000 and 350 000 people, mostly female, poor and Quechua speaking were sterilized under a government program.

In at least 2074 cases women have testified that they were sterilized against their will. At least 18 women died due to complications, though given testimony from Doctors who were asked to take part in the program, I suspect the number is higher. The article reports that:

“In the 1990s, Dr Rogelio del Carmen Martino worked in a small medical centre in the north of Peru called Centro de Salud Maternal Infantil de Castilla (CESAMICA), near the city of Piura. He says his team of four - an anaesthetist, two surgeons and a gynaecologist - were ordered to sterilise 250 women in three days.”

Attempting to meet such a ridiculous pace would undoubtly lead to medical errors.

The reason it is coming up in the election campaign is that Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of the former president, who is serving time for crimes against humanity for his role in death squads run by his regime, is now running for president. Keiko Fujimori’s stance has been to blame Doctors for the program despite the fact that the orders for the sterilization came directly from the Ministry of Public Health.