Alberto Fujimori, Peru's reform-minded president who has battled drug lords, economic woes, and guerrillas, must now take on a dubious United States Congress.On his first visit to the US since being elected in June 1990, Mr. Fujimori was to meet President Bush Sept. 17 to discuss efforts to reinvigorate his economy and eradicate cocaine traffic. They were also certain to discuss efforts to persuade Congress to approve a $94 million anti-drug package for Peru. As proposed by the State Department last July, the package would escalate narcotic-fighting efforts on several fronts. This would include sending a few dozen US Green Berets to Peru as noncombative instructors to work directly with the Peruvian military for the first time, teaching them to fight the Shining Path, a guerrilla group believed to have made $40 million from the drug trade. About 60 percent of the world's coca crop, used to produce cocaine, is raised in Peru - much of it by peasant farmers who depend on profits from the crop for subsistence. Congress has refused to approve the aid package until it receives assurances that Peru's human rights record has improved. International human rights group say that for four straight years the Peruvian government has led the world in "disappearances." The White House has argued that Fujimori inherited the problems of past administrations and has moved aggressively to remedy them. In addition to having an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Bush, Fujimori was to confer with State Department officials, federal anti-drug director Bob Martinez, and members of Congress. During his first year in office, Fujimori restructured the economy. He increased reliance on a free-market system and slashed an inflation rate that topped 7,000 percent.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.