Intellectuals reject the inclusion of Mario Vargas Llosa in the French Academy and list the reasons why he “stains” the institution


Dec 9, 2021 19:15 GMT

They remember his support for far-right leaders in Latin America.

On Thursday, a group of intellectuals repudiated the appointment of the Peruvian writer and Nobel Prize in Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, as a new member of the French Academy, the body that regulates the use of this language and which is one of the most important cultural institutions in That country.

“We learned with amazement on November 25 of the election of Mario Vargas Llosa to the French Academy. We do not know the reasons for this. Perhaps the Academy considered that the Peruvian writer embodied the ideal of the committed writer of the Enlightenment “, says the letter published in the Libération newspaper and signed by César Itier (university professor); Valérie Robin Azevedo (professor at the University of Paris), Pablo del Valle (anthropologist), Evelyne Mesclier (director of research at the Institute for Development Research) and Sylvie Taussig (researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research.

“But this election raises serious ethical problems. Mario Vargas Llosa’s recent support for Jose Antonio Kast, a candidate of the extreme right, nostalgic defender of the military dictatorship of Pinochet, in the presidential elections of Chile on December 19, is in fact just one of the latest vicissitudes, an attitude that has legitimized the leaders responsible for murders for decades and human rights violations, “the letter added.

For example, they recall that Vargas Llosa supported the Colombian president “with enthusiasm” Ivan duque, who was elected in 2018 and has been accused of breaching the commitments of the peace agreement reached in 2016 with the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), after an armed conflict that lasted for decades.

“Since then, the murders of ex-guerrillas, trade unionists, indigenous leaders and environmental activists have become almost daily,” they point out, quoting Vargas Llosa himself, who on February 21, 2021 wrote: “Ever since I met him I always knew that the President of Colombia Iván Duque would be an example for the rest of Latin America. “

In that particular, they emphasize that last April, the Colombian police fired at point-blank range at the civilian population that was demonstrating against the neoliberal measures imposed by Duque, repressions that occurred during the protests he faced throughout the year.

The intellectuals also denounce the support that Vargas Llosa gave to Keiko Fujimori, the former presidential candidate who resisted for weeks to acknowledge her defeat and who is now on a permanent campaign to remove President Pedro Castillo.

In the case of Argentina, they warn that the writer has spoken out for failing to judge the crimes against humanity committed by the last military dictatorship (1986-1983) and for which hundreds of repressors have already been convicted.

With regard to more recent scandals, they take up the case of the Pandora Papal, the international investigation into tax evasion and money laundering that revealed that Vargas Llosa had accounts in tax hideouts.

Including him in the Academy tarnishes the image of France in Latin America, where their extremist positions are well known and strongly rejected. It threatens to legitimize positions that trample on the values ​​of democracy that France wants to associate with “, they point out.

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Intellectuals reject the inclusion of Mario Vargas Llosa in the French Academy and list the reasons why he “stains” the institution