A former Peruvian military officer who led the failed uprising in 2005 has been released from prison, following a surprise announcement that his 19-year sentence was reduced.
Lawyers for Antauro Humala, leader of Peru’s ethnographic nationalist movement that seeks to bring the country’s disadvantaged indigenous people to power, signaled a return to politics upon release on Saturday.
Speaking to supporters chanting “President Antauro”, he praised the 2005 uprising in which he and his supporters attacked a police station in the Andean city of Andahuilas in an attempt to force the resignation of then-President Alejandro Toledo. did.
Six people, including four police officers, were killed in a day-long standoff at the station.
“We are clearly out now and I can tell you that we are all very proud of what we did in [our rebellion],” Humala said.
Anturo Humala and his brother, Ollanta Humala, also led a small rebellion in 2000 against then-president Alberto Fujimori, who was later convicted of ordering genocide during Peru’s two-decade civil war.
Ollanta Humala became Peru’s president from 2011 to 2016, but ruled as a centrist contrary to his brother’s ideology and repeatedly refused to pardon him.
Humala’s ethnographic movement links the ancient Inca Empire with the anti-colonial movement, but has been accused of having xenophobic and totalitarian motives.
As a candidate, current leftist President Pedro Castillo had spoken positively of Humala and the possibility of pardoning him, but fell silent on the subject after taking office in 2021.
Peru’s prison authority said Humala was released a year and seven months ago because of her time devoted to work and education. It said the decision was made independently of the presidency.
After his release, Humala’s lawyer, Carmen Huidobro, said “it is possible that [Antauro] will resume political life, it is likely that he will run for office”.
Speaking to supporters outside the prison in the Peruvian capital Lima, Humala asked his supporters “time to rethink what has happened in these 18 years”.