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A Research Paper on Population Control in Peru

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The case study I have chosen for this paper is the population control in Peru. The Fujimori administration is when Alberto Fujimori was president of Peru. President Fujimori was in office since late July of 1990 to late November of 2000. At this time, the Fujimori administration had a population policy in which there was a forced sterilization situation happening to the poor, rural and the indigenous population in the country especially focusing on the rural women. This was created because of the increase in economic instability, extreme poverty, and the rising population. The modernization theory and neoliberalism had played a big role during the 10 years of the Fujimori administration. The theories I choose relates to the population control in Peru because it shows the theories tried to improve society and how the development of these effects the physical and economic growth. The modernization theory and the neoliberalism theory both helped but both had different effects on the population control. The group who benefits from these perspectives that this theory brings to my case is the theories and modernization provides more insight to throughout my case. By allowing the forced sterilization to happen in Peru, the modernization theory and the neoliberalism theory showed how the administration looked like through governments action, policies, principles, and the ideas of the theories throughout the Fujimori administration and as well as what it led to and the critiques. On this paper, I will argue the advantages and disadvantages of both theories during the administration, the historical aspect during Alberto Fujimori’s power and how it affected the rural women during the 10 years and after the power of Alberto Fujimori left the office, and how the theories I chose explains, reproduces, and challenges this case study.

Modernization theory is an evolutionary theory predicting how societies develop. It is a standard of a modern transition from “traditional” to “modern” within each country’s society economically, socially, and politically. The advantages of this theory are that it was easy to grasp because of linearity. It gave people a way to look at the world. The disadvantages of this were the undertones of colonialism. This theory does imply that the economic powers don’t acknowledge responsibilities for the deprivations of colonial times but does see themselves as the ones to help the many countries catch up. This is because underdevelopment was not understood as a process produced by structural inequality but as a set barrier that had to be overcome. It largely ignores how little the developing countries have developed, how eastern influences were largely ignored, and it was outdated. Neoliberalism theory is a mainstream international economic theory posting that markets inefficient resources’ allocation and that trade and investment flows across borders are optimized when there are as few restrictions as possible. Just like how David Harvey said in his article ‘Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction’, neoliberalism is ‘a theory of political economic practices proposing that human well-being can best be advanced by the maximization of entrepreneurial freedoms within an institutional framework characterized by private property rights, individual liberty, unencumbered markets, and free trade’ (p.22). One of the advantages of neoliberalism increased governmental influence. By allowing the neoliberalism theory to do so, it protects if a president or politician, just like Alberto Fujimori, want to get something done. They can use neoliberalism to their advantage and advocate for some change. The disadvantage of this theory is a smaller government. The reasoning behind this is that rather than ensuring that the government does not become too oppressive, instead, it can become bigger and stronger. This could be a bad thing because if you are worried about untamed government influence it won’t be able to be stopped under a neoliberalist banner of sorts.

The population control situation happened all over the country of Peru due to the increase of economic stability, extreme poverty, and the population growing. Alberto Fujimori was a Peruvian politician and became the president of Peru from late July of 1990 until late November of 2000. During this time, President Alberto Fujimori had about 300,000 women and 22,000 men forcibly or deceitfully sterilized by population control officials by the government. By 1996, under President Alberto Fujimori control, the government oversaw a tremendous forced sterilization campaign known as Voluntary Surgical Contraception (VSC). The United Nation and other international aid agencies supported this campaign. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided funding and training until it was exposed by objections by churches and human rights groups. The United States Agency for International Development undergoes international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people improve beyond reinforcement. This organization did collaborate closely with President Alberto Fujimori ‘s sterilization campaign abounds. USAID trained military doctors through funding to form this procedure to the community and also provided funding to the Peruvian NGOs to be involved in the Emergency Plan. During this administration and after, the women were the most impacted. Rural women have got lawsuits, lawyers and complaints about this policy. The community that was marginalized by this was the majority of the indigenous and the rural women. Alberto Fujimori ended his presidency by fleeing Peru because of a scandal that involved corruption and human rights violation. The human rights that were violated were indigenous rights and women and reproductive rights. A similar situation happened in the film Yawar Mallku (Blood of the Condor. In this film, it is about illegal sterilization towards indigenous women in Bolivia. The film was directed by Jorge Sanjines and it was about an Indigenous Bolivian community receiving the proper medical care such as medicine, physical treatment, nursing care and many more from the “Peace Crops”. But the medical care for the Bolivian Community is over price in which individuals can not afford getting. The Peace Crops are also secretly sterilizing the women in Bolivia. I am relating the forced sterilization policy in Peru to the illegal sterilization situation that happened in Bolivia because the indigenous women in both countries have been victimized into the sterilization with little to no understanding of what they were given from doctors and organizations that should’ve helped them instead of deceiving them.

These theories helped me understand this case study of the population control in Peru by allowing to see how easy it is for an individual like President Alberto Fujimori at the time to manipulate his own country. This is because the government was smaller, and it makes it accessible for the person in power to get policies done. Modernization theory and neoliberalism theory is useful to justify development mechanisms. This is because the development mechanism helps support the developing country to improve their way of life instead of ruining it. The limitations of each theory to understand it comprehensively are that smaller is not always the best. The organizations like the United State Agency for International Development and the United Nations benefited from these perspectives that the theories bring to my case study I have chose. I believe that the neoliberalism theory provides more insights to the population control in Peru.

In conclusion, the Fujimori administration had a major negative impact on the rural women of Peru from 1990 until 2000 and the women are still struggling with the results of the forced sterilization. The advantages and disadvantages of modernization theory and neoliberalism theory, the historical aspect during the president’s power and after he left, and how the theories I chose explains, reproduces, and challenges play a major role in this case study. 

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