Peruvian Cardinal Defends His Stance Against Sterilization Campaigns

LIMA, Peru, DEC. 17, 2002 ( Denying accusations from Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani said that he was a tenacious critic of the mass sterilization campaigns carried out during the Fujimori regime.

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The Lima archbishop said he rejected the texts promoted by the Ministry of Education, where sexual information was manipulated from childhood.

«I said that these [texts] had to be thrown into the bin,» the press secretariat of the Lima Archdiocese reported.

The cardinal made his statements Saturday during his weekly radio program where he corrected some comments made by novelist and former presidential candidate Vargas. The writer accused him of not criticizing then President Alberto Fujimori’s forced family-planning campaign.

Referring to these contraceptive and forced sterilization campaigns, Cardinal Cipriani emphasized that during the Fujimori era he asked that «the country not be converted» into a «brothel.»

«No one used a stronger expression,» the cardinal said.

In fact, Cardinal Cipriani came under harsh government criticism from January to March 1998 for his highly publicized attacks on the country’s family-planning methods.

During his radio program, Cardinal Cipriani also reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s defense of human life against the practice of abortion.

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