Peruvian opposition leader Keiko Fujimori, who was released from prison on Friday, grew up during her father Alberto Fujimori´s deeply divisive reign as president from 1990 to 2000.
Keiko, now 44, sided with her father when her mother Susana Higuchi accused Alberto´s men of torturing her and divorced him in 1994.
Keiko Fujimori took over first lady duties at the age of just 19.
She is now free from jail after spending 13 months in pre-trial detention in a corruption case. The nation´s Constitutional Court ruled that she must be free to face the charges against her.
Peruvians refer to her as just “Keiko” or affectionately, though inaccurately, as “the Chinese” — “La China.”
– Two narrow losses –
The Fujimoris are actually one of thousands of families of Japanese descent in Peru following waves of economic immigration.
In 2011, Keiko Fujimori narrowly lost the presidential election in a runoff vote to center-leftist Ollanta Humala, a former army officer, after misjudging voters when she pledged during her campaign to pardon her father.
She also lost in 2016, this time to center-right economist and politician Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, edged out in another narrow runoff even as her party won an absolute majority in Congress.
Once one of Peru´s most popular politicians, the newly freed Fujimori will have time to campaign for presidential elections set for July 2021.
But while she remains a key figure inside her right-wing Popular Force party, her popularity has fallen dramatically since the corruption scandal, and she will face a very different political scene from the one in Peru before she entered prison.
The Popular Force risks losing its majority in legislative elections January 26.