In the context of the trial and execution of Sadam Hussein of Iraq, I suggested:
I don’t write about the trial or the verdict, other than to say that Saddam Hussein has joined a long list of monarchs condemned to death after public proceedings in the form of a trial—Charles I of England, Louis XVI of France, and the defeated leaders of Nazi Germany and militarist Japan, and the political enemies of Marxist Leninist Regimes (especially under Stalin in the 1930s and Mao Zedong in the 1960s). In each case, the trails were meant as theatre. They served to discredit the ancien regime and legitimate the process of regime change. They also served to strip authority from the body of the representative of the prior political order. Then, with that representative reduced to mere man, the man—and not the state—is condemned as mere criminal; he suffers the same penalties as other bandits and outlaws. The state is preserved and punishment for its sins inflicted on the body of its proxy. The state is now reborn.
And yet, the state requires a confrontation with its past. Perú cannot move forward without understanding and accepting their past. But that confrontation, where limited to the person of Fujimori, provides too easy an excuse for the actions of the nation. It absolves those who profit from systemic corruption, or the arrogance of violence in the name of proletariat dictatorship produced from aggregations of intellectual elitists who embraced a praxis of blood with significant ethnic rather than class overtones. But confronting these issues is hard. Falling back on the rule of law to engage in elaborate acts of symbolic punishment is easier. But law and nation suffer.