Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani was the most outspoken opponent of the forced sterilizations carried out in Peru and “was not silent” as alleged by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, said the spokesman for the Archdiocese of Lima in Peru.
“One cannot claim that the Cardinal supported (the sterilizations) or that he remained silent, when on the contrary, as the editorials of that period demonstrate, he was the most vocal opponent of this policy, to the degree that leaders of the opposition adhered to his point of view,” said Natale Amprimo on June 20.
The government of Alberto Fujimori ordered the forced sterilizations of thousands of poor women between 1995 and 1997. The bishops of Peru, including now-Cardinal Cipriani, were unremitting in their condemnation of the policy.
Amprimo pointed to two specific editorials published on Feb. 20 and 21 of 1998 by La Republica—the same newspaper which attacked Cardinal Cipriani during this year’s presidential campaign--which both show that the former Archbishop of Ayacucho and current Archbishop of Lima was always against the policy and called for the removal of the Minister of Health, Costa Bauer.
For this reason, Amprimo criticized Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa who continues to allege the contrary “as if it were true, with impunity.”
“You cannot use lies to discredit someone who thinks differently than you, like Vargas Llosa is doing to discredit those who don’t think like he does,” he added.
Amprimo said that while a lawsuit could be filed against the author, Cardinal Cipriani does not wish to do so, “because he believes we need to set aside our triumphs and resentments.”