Susana HiguchiSusana Higuchi is a member of the Peruvian Congress. She was elected in 2001, representing the Frente Independiente Moralizador (FIM) party. Higuchi was born in Peru of Japanese descent and was formerly married to Alberto Fujimori, who was president of Peru from 1990 until November 2000, when he fled to Japan as allegations of far-reaching corruption in his administration began to emerge.
Higuchi married Fujimori in 1974 and divorced him in 1998. She has four children with him.
As First Lady during her husband's presidency, Higuchi was one of the first people in Peru to uncover and reveal her husband's criminal misdealings. As early as 1992, she denounced several of her Fujimori in-laws for corruption in connection with the sale of used clothing donated by Japan. In 1994, she publically condemned her husband as a tyrant and his government as corrupt. Fujimori reacted by formally stripping her of the title First Lady in August 1994, appointing their elder daughter First Lady in her place. Higuchi thereupon established her own political party, the Harmony 21st Century, and announced her intention to enter politics as a candidate for mayor of Lima in the 1995 elections, but in December 1994 the Harmony party was ruled ineligible because it failed to muster the required number of signatures to qualify as a legitimate political party.
Because of her outspokenness, Higuchi was subjected to repeated efforts to silence her. In 2001, she told investigators probing the corruption of the Fujimori years that she had been tortured "five hundred times" by the intelligence services of the Peruvian Army, publicly displaying the cigarette burns on her back.
Fujimori has denied that Higuchi had been tortured. He said the scars on her back and neck were not from torture but from a traditional Japanese herbal treatment called moxibustion she underwent to help her stop smoking and for back troubles. (Moxibustion, however, does not leave scars.)
In July, 2001, she revealed that in July 1990, shortly before coming to power, her ex-husband received a donation of US$12 million from Japanese citizens destined for poor children in Peru, but he deposited it in a private bank account with the Bank of Tokyo in Tokyo.